Redcar and Cleveland woodland sites looking for more volunteers

After the recent Green Flag Award success at Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park and Guisborough Branch Walkway, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s countryside team are welcoming more volunteers to join the ranks and help keep standards high.

A range of locations across the borough are home to a number of existing volunteer groups, looked after by Countryside Rangers, Paul Murphy and Paul Bamber. In addition to the Green Flag sites, the locations include the likes of Errington Woods, New Marske; Foxrush Community Woodland, Redcar; Westfield Community Woodland, Loftus and Riftswood, Saltburn.

Countryside volunteers get involved in a range of activities. At Guisborough today (Tues 23 Aug), the group could be found keeping the popular Branch Walkway neat and tidy for its visitors, completing tasks such as clearing the tree nursery and hedge lines, painting planters and laying fresh bark on the ground in the mini amphitheatre. And, of course, sharing a giggle over a packed lunch and several rounds of tea.

There are many personal benefits to giving your time volunteering. Nigel Acornley works with the Friends of Guisborough Forest and Walkway.

He said: “Everyone I work with is lovely. Very dedicated and professional. Being part of a group like this really brings you out of yourself and gives you a chance to make great friends. You get to work in nature.”

Councillor Barry Hunt, cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Housing, said: “We appreciate the work of all our volunteers tremendously and always want to welcome new ones. The support they give to our staff, who I’d also like to thank, is invaluable and I know they love working alongside them too.”

New recruits are welcome to come along to a task day to see the team in action and whether or not it is ‘for you’. There is a registration form to complete and an induction session will be arranged to go through paperwork, expectations and to organise uniform and personal protective equipment. All volunteers are covered by RCBC insurance.

The countryside volunteers range in age from 18 to 80+. If you’re interested in becoming one, please contact Countryside Officer, Karen Preston, on 07966 624966 or to be passed on to the relevant Ranger.

Check out our volunteers at work in our Facebook video, posted today (30.8.22).