I started volunteering with Dorset Wildlife Trust when I retired: I’ve always enjoyed being in the countryside near to where I live and wanted to be able to do something to protect and nurture it for future generations. I soon joined up with the west Dorset volunteers, and very quickly found I really enjoyed being part of the team - I discovered some amazing Dorset countryside that I’d never been to before, a fantastic group of people to be with, and a real satisfaction in getting the work done (yes, even bashing those ferns . . . ).
To be honest, though, I didn’t know just how much I was enjoying the volunteering until the first lockdown arrived. I so missed being out on the nature reserves: the quiet, the views, the wildlife, the sense of purpose. It was great to be back in October, if only for a few sessions, to meet old friends, to re-acquaint myself with the gorse, and to once again be able to ask of our team leader ‘what’s the bramble forecast for today, then . . . ?’
After the long hiatus due to the lockdown after Christmas, we are finally back out again - joyfully digging huge holes for ‘strainer’ fence posts, catching up with fellow volunteers, and generally feeling good about being out and working again. Let’s hope we can sustain these work parties for a longer period this time - there is so much to do!