Get close up to nature and join our countryside volunteers

Redditch Advertiser: David Owen, St Wulstan's volunteer David Owen, St Wulstan's volunteer

Worcestershire's Countryside Services Team are offering any local nature buffs the chance to get hands on at St Wulstan's Nature Reserve in Upper Welland near Malvern. The call is for any nature enthusiasts to sign up to one of their forthcoming volunteer days taking place this autumn at the local reserve. The next volunteer sessions is being held on Wednesday November 7, with further dates scheduled throughout November. Sessions run from 9.30am until 3pm: Wednesday November 7 Thursday November 15 Thursday November 22 Thursday November 29 Wednesday December 5 Thursday December 13 As a volunteer you would play a big part in the on going care and maintenance of the site including learning form and working alongside the professional countryside staff. The focus of these session is woodland and hedgerow restoration, tasks which will be set at all ability levels can include: clearing paths of overgrowth, maintaining fences and surveying the wildflowers which grow in the meadows, as well as planting hedgerow trees, coppicing and woodland management.

St Wulstan's Local Nature Reserve is a 22 Hectare award winning countryside site close to the village of Upper Welland, The reserve is owned by Worcestershire County Council and is free for anyone to visit.

The reserve boosts a range of different habitats including new and mature woodlands, scrub and grasslands, which are home to a wide variety of plants and animals.

The reserve is managed under a higher level stewardship agreement which encourages land owners to conserve and improve wildlife and environmental features of countryside areas such as this and also promotes greater levels of community involvement with their local area of countryside. David Owen, local volunteer said: "There are the obvious reasons why I enjoy volunteering; fresh air and exercise, learning new, to me anyway, skills, whether it’s hedge laying or surveying plants on the meadows. On top of that there’s the interest in seeing how the reserve is managed, the balance being struck between letting nature rip and nudging it in the direction appropriate for this particular site."

Assistant Countryside Sites Officer David Shepherd said: "Some people just want the opportunity to get out in the countryside and learn a bit about how and why sites like this are managed. It can also be a great way to meet new people and strengthens our links with the local community. On top of that all volunteers get a free hot or cold drink and biscuit.

So, if you would like to join us, we are always glad to welcome new volunteers and all you need to bring is some stout footwear and appropriate clothes for working outside, as all tools and training are provided on the day."

As a volunteer you will be kept informed of future training opportunities usually held at Worcester Wood Country Park.

To find out more details contact Martin Barnett or David Shepherd on 01905766493.

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