Right from the start when Dorset Wildlife Trust was founded in 1961, the ethos of volunteering was firmly embedded in the organisation and literally thousands of volunteers have helped us in so many ways since then. Volunteers come to us for all sorts of reasons – simply to help wildlife, to learn new skills or use existing ones, to find a new challenge, to prepare for the workplace, to meet people or simply to have a go at doing something different. It really is a win-win situation given that all the evidence shows that people who spend time in wildlife-rich places are more mentally resilient and enjoy better health. This dovetails perfectly with our need for individuals and communities to help with practical conservation work on our nature reserves, man our visitor centres, undertake wildlife surveys, helping in the office, organising an event or engaging with the public… the possibilities are endless.
Our role is to lead the recovery and restoration of nature in Dorset and to raise awareness of all the ways that everyone can benefit from nature and get involved in its recovery. There is a definite sense that people are thinking about the global environment and our mission is to provide accessible and practical opportunities on a local level in Dorset for everyone to actively help manage, experience and find solace in wild spaces, particularly those who have not had the chance to do so before.
And so this week, the focus will be on celebrating and thanking all the amazing volunteers who give so freely of their time and skills to take action for Dorset’s wildlife and wild places - we really are incredibly grateful and continually astonished at the willingness of our volunteers to give so freely of their time and skills – an enormous thank you on behalf of the Dorset Wildlife Trust to you all.