Nature is all around us; in our gardens, village greens, open spaces and the wider countryside. It may seem unchanging and unchangeable, but the majority of the nature that we see, hear, smell and touch has been influenced by our hands and continues to be so.
Without the help of volunteers much of the practical conservation work carried out on the Island simply wouldn’t be possible. Thousands of hours are contributed annually by dedicated volunteers on local projects where they can learn traditional countryside skills and share local knowledge as they assist with practical conservation tasks.
If you fancy getting stuck in, there are many opportunities to give a helping hand to the Island’s wildlife and habitats here are just a few ways:
The Green Gym offers people a new way of becoming healthier by taking part in nature conservation activities. The Isle of Wight group is one of the largest and most successful in the country. The group operate throughout the year at venues across the Island and welcomes people of all ages.
Other organisations such as the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, National Trust , RSPB and Wight Nature Fund also run volunteer work parties to help with managing their sites, leading guided walks and carrying our survey work.
Becoming a warden
A pond warden course is run each year by the Footprint Trust, to assist members of the public who are interested in managing ponds for wildlife. Some have gone on to help look after a pond on public land, while others have created a pond in their own garden.
A cemetery warden project is being run by the Footprint Trust. Those wishing to train and become cemetery wardens will have an interest in nature conservation, the landscape, heritage and the community – as this scheme intends to seek to bring together these diverse concerns.