The Wildlife Trust is recruiting for an army of new volunteers in North Hampshire to help deliver conservation work as part of two new projects in the area.
One new volunteer team will be based at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s College Copse Farm near Rotherwick, meeting every other Tuesday to get involved in practical work on the farm ensuring Wildlife Trust livestock are catered for and the nearby woodlands improved for plants and butterflies. This will include laying hedges, putting up new fencing, and creating woodland glades through coppicing and tree felling.
A second team will meet several times over the coming year to create and improve habitats for threatened species like willow tits and Duke of Burgundy butterflies, within the Basingstoke and Deane borough area.
The new recruits will be in good company – some 900 volunteers contribute nearly 40,000 hours of their time to the Wildlife Trust’s conservation and education work every year. This includes three existing Wildlife Trust volunteer teams that meet in the north of the county: the Basingstoke area reserves team every Friday; the North East reserves team every Wednesday, and the North East weekend team every other Sunday. Together their contribution is essential in creating and improving wildlife habitats across the two counties.
Pat Read, who has volunteered for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust for 8 years, said: “Volunteering has a real good factor – I get major satisfaction that I’ve put something back. The other volunteers are a really good bunch, and we all look out for each other. I’ve learned so much about wildlife and habitats I didn’t know existed, and love being a part of their conservation.”
Matthew Smith, Assistant Reserves Officer at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said: “There’s nothing quite like getting out in the fresh air, doing some good exercise with friends, and learning about the wildlife around you. A word of warning though – some of our existing volunteers started volunteering for the Trust many years ago and still come week after week – so it’s quite addictive!”
To find out more about any of the new or existing volunteer teams in North Hampshire, email Matthew.Smith@hiwwt.org.uk. For more about volunteer opportunities elsewhere in our two counties, visit: www.hiwwt.org.uk/volunteer.