Volunteering at Watchtree - its fun (we like a laugh), challenging (we strive for the best), you'll learn new skills (unless you're a know-all!) and you'll meet some great people (well, most of them!)....you even get a fantastic brew at lunch time...interested....read on
Above: Derek and the gang hay strewing
Right: Jean (pretending to hide) removing a tree guard
Well done to those volunteers who recently completed a training course in the safe use of a woodchipper. On the negative side this means less opportunities for small fires which, apart from the negative environmental effects, provide nice opportunties for one of our volunteer favourites.....baking potatoes in the hot ash! I am sure our 'chipper team' can leave us some kindling for those cold winter days so we can once again tuck in to creamy spuds and butter.
Weekend Warden required!
We require someone with good inter-personal and 'people' skills to welcome people into the nature reserve, provide the public with information and to answer any queries they may have. If weekends are not suitable then weekday wardens are also required, particularly covering Mondays and Tuesdays. We will pay for your travel expenses and provide you with free tea/coffee!
If you are interested in this role please contact Tim Lawrence on 01228 712539 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT....we look after a rather large wildlife garden.
Recently completed volunteer jobs (Nov 2012): Prepared section of hedge for laying...plenty more of this over the winter so come and join us every Wednesday at 10:30am. Hedging in Cumbria looks barbaric but when you see the benefits you'll see why we 'lay' hedges at Watchtree. Coppicing - we are once again clearing sections of scrub and small trees from path edges - to enhance conditions for woodland invertebrates...our Orange - tip butterflies specifically asked us to do this! Path maintenance and creating a living willow hedge in the elemental garden.... living! the willow does not have a pulse but by sticking one end in the ground we can miraculously bring the willow back to life. Thinning - our Pines are now getting rather 'intimate' with each other....we thought we'd give them some space and allow them to develop without having to live in the shadows of their cousins.
Volunteer jobs in the future: Nov/Dec - hedge laying, coppicing, maintaining ditches and drainage, work in the elemental garden, site maintenance to gates and fences, bird feeding, thinning, admin, rangering.
You'll get fit....the 2016 Olympics is not that far away....if only path construction was an olympic sport!
Our volunteeers get involved with tasks including footpath construction (moving barrow loads of stone - great for the quads and biceps and really gets the oxygen flowing); pulling out excessive pond vegetation (strengthens the back muscles - you might even find some newts!) and coppicing - clearing woody regrowth (your arms will feel like Popeye's at the end of this one). There are loads of other jobs to do including creating Ringed Plover breeding mats, constructing bird viewing screens and fencing.
You'll meet lots of very friendly people...we are one big happy family here at Watchtree.
Our volunteers have a reputation for making everyone feel welcome - many come back again and again....some have been here for years.
You'll learn new skills and potentially gain new qualifications....and we dont charge University fees for the privelidge
We organise courses and get our volunteers qualified if a particular project requires one.
When can you volunteer?
Wednesday's at 10:30am and the 1st Saturday of the month again at 10:30am. Sessions usually last until the afternoon (depending on what needs doing). Just bring some old clothes (we are not fashion police but please, no pink leggings!)
Monday-Friday anytime as we are always looking for sensible folk to help welcome visitors into the reserve.
Weekends anytime. If the suns shining visitors are often drawn to Watchtree's open spaces and fantastic woodlands....we need people to patrol the site and make sure things are running smoothly.
There are always administrative roles so if you're good with IT we can usually find something for you.
Schools, youth groups, cubs, scouts, universities and colleges have all completed volunteer projects at Watchtree. Why not try the John Muir Award (Discover, Explore, Conserve and Share - this award is nationally recognised and all participants get a very nice certificate).
Caldew School created one of our best wetland habitats which now is home to Great crested Newts!
Limehouse School have surveyed our invertebrates extensively and even produced their own video....watch it on our Youtube site.Youtube then search timwatchtree
GardenLinks have assisted with the creation of our fantastic elemental garden....see this when you visit next time.
John Muir Award role of honour
(those groups/schools who have successfully completed the award)
- James Rennie School
- Lime House School (x3 'Discovery' and 'Explorer' Awards)
- Caldew School
- Wigton Youth Station and Caldew (COPE)
- Garden Links and
- Broadacre House
Tim Lawrence, Manager
Tel. 01228 712 539
Mob. 0777 220 7594