Woodland Trust appeals for volunteers to offer a real welcome

The Woodland Trust is searching for volunteers to make a difference in their community and help people discover nature as “Woodland Welcomers” at woods across the UK.

Welcome in the woods: Langley Vale, near Epsom, is seeking volunteers

Nature-lovers with a few hours to spare a week are being sought by the country’s largest woodland conservation charity to meet and greet visitors at a wood in your area, helping them discover why the wood is so special and why we need to look after it for future generations.

“Woodland Welcomers will be vital eyes and ears on the ground, raising awareness of the importance of woodland and talking about the vital work of the Woodland Trust,” said Woodland Trust estate manager Ian Froggatt.

“It’s also great for people’s wellbeing, helping visitors get the most from their time in nature, enjoying fresh air and lovely scenery while generating a sense of community around the site.”

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the country, with more than 500,000 supporters. It now has more than 1,000 sites in its care, covering approximately 72,000 acres.

Access to its woods is free so everyone can benefit from woods and trees.

Under the Woodland Welcomers scheme, experts will give volunteers all the training and support they need to welcome visitors, helping the local community to value and understand more about woods, trees and wildlife and in turn encouraging them to visit respectfully.

The Woodland Welcomers role is part of the “People and Woods: Getting better together” project, which is funded by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

The scheme is only operating at selected Woodland Trust locations at present, and the wood taking part in the scheme closest to Croydon is Langley Vale Wood, on the Epsom Downs.

Langley Vale Wood was created in 2014 as the largest of the Woodland Trust’s four First World War Centenary Woods.

Its pockets of rare and fragile ancient woodland have been protected and enhanced with thousands of new native trees planted with the help of the local community.

Almost a decade later, it’s an enchanting haven for wildlife and flora, with stunning views over the rolling hills of the North Downs, fascinating sculpture and interpretation about the First World War.

Find out more about becoming a volunteer at the Woodland Welcomer at https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/support-us/act/volunteer-with-us/

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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