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In Full . . .

Helpers in the Hills

Posted on July 25 2014 at 11:47:12

The Lickey Hills rangers work with a small band of volunteers to help them with the many and varied tasks that need tackling in a country park.

Unfortunately, the band of volunteers is rather too small and I am hoping when your readers are more aware of who we are and the work we do, they would consider joining us, which would enable us to achieve more and keep the Lickey Hills in good shape for local residents.

The work is extremely varied, which ensures it is never boring, and we work outside so get plenty of exercise, fresh air and sometimes even sun! In recent weeks we have removed invasive non-native plants and replanted and re-seeded the areas cleared with native trees, shrubs, ferns and flowers.

Community orchards have been planted. Fences, gates and steps have been repaired. Fallen trees need to be cleared to enable paths to remain passable.

In the autumn, ditches fill with leaves which need clearing if water is to run away and not erode tracks. Fruit trees need pruning at that time of year too. Signs need installing and maintaining.

Overhanging trees need pruning back from tracks if horse-riders are to pass safely. There are many more jobs, but the above will give a flavour of what we do.

As for the volunteers, we are mainly retired people but our numbers swell (and our average age goes down) in the summer when students join us, often to help with their studies of botany, zoology or the environment.

Basic gardening and DIY skills are useful (such as sawing, digging, hammering etc.) but we are always shown how to handle tools properly and with safety in mind.

Learning new practical skills is a definite benefit of volunteering with the rangers.

Another benefit of joining this group is the opportunity to chat to like-minded people. Almost by definition the volunteers (and obviously the rangers) are going to be interested in conservation, animals and plants and the conversation while we work is always lively.

We meet every Tuesday morning at 10am for about four hours. Should the above sound like something you would consider doing, then call 0121 445 6036 or call in at the Lickey Hills Visitor Centre and ask to speak to any of the rangers there.

Allan Postgate, Volunteer
Lickey Hills Country Park


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