Shropshire Conservation Volunteers
If you like the idea of working with a lively group of people, in some of the most beautiful sites in Shropshire, then you may be interested in joining our Conservation Volunteers (Churchyard Task Team).
Task days take place every Tuesday, Thursday and occasional Wednesdays. For good practice in relation to Covid 19 we continue to follow social distancing and normally sit outside for breaks and to eat. All work takes place out of doors and masks are not obligatory, but anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask is welcome to do so.
The current programme of task days can be downloaded here. You can see a calendar of the days here. Simply choose which days you would like to join and let Alex know you are coming so we make sure we have enough tools and refreshments.
What we offer
We offer training and guidance so you can do the tasks safely. We provide tools and protective equipment. We run regular dry stone wall and scything training courses. If you incur travel expenses we can reimburse you (up to a certain amount). If you don’t have transport, or can’t get to our task days, we will do our best to arrange a lift for you.
What will you do as a volunteer?
You’ll be involved in a variety of conservation tasks. In the summer months we undertake a lot of grassland management which involves scything, raking and making hay with our manual hay baler. You could be pruning bushes and shrubs, cutting back overgrown vegetation or building compost bins. In winter you might get the chance to lay hedges, learning this old technique that rejuvenates and restores natural boundaries. The team plants and maintains new hedges and looks after ancient trees by clearing competing vegetation. We restore and rebuild dry stone walls. We help make wildlife homes with habitat piles, hibernacula and bug hotels. We also have volunteers that undertake memorial surveys and species surveys, rather than practical work.
A typical day
We usually go out on Tuesday in south Shropshire and on Thursdays in north Shropshire. Also look out for our Saturday task days. We start at 10am and finish by 3pm. You will need to bring your lunch. The locals at the sites often provide us with hot and cold drinks, cakes/biscuits and sometimes lunch. You can do as much as you feel comfortable with and stay as long as you like. We always have a variety of tasks for volunteers to choose from.
Does your burial ground need some tender loving care?
If you are in Shropshire and your local burial ground could benefit from some TLC, please contact us. We can give advice on how to involve local people in managing your site and how to create your own management brief. We can also visit with the task team to help with practical conservation work.
The types of jobs the team can help with:
- Repairing dry stone walls
- Scything meadow areas
- Removing invasive vegetation
- Planting, trimming and laying hedges
- Building compost bins
- Sowing yellow rattle seed (to help reduce the vigour of grasses, thereby assisting other wildflowers to flourish)
So that volunteers can enjoy working in a peaceful atmosphere, we do not use mechanised machinery.
Along with helping you manage your site in the short term, our aim is to support you to increase the number of your own volunteers so that you are better able to manage your site in the longer term.
We choose to work in sites which are being managed in a way that conserves both the natural and built environment.
We are delighted to announce that our fabulous volunteers have received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK).
Thank you to the AllChurches Trust who have awarded us a grant for tools.