Volunteers at South Somerset District Council’s Yeovil Country Park are set for a busy and rewarding summer this year with work lined up to help keep the site looking glorious for visitors.
The Countryside Rangers at Yeovil Country Park are keen to engage members of the local community and welcome people of all abilities as part of a regular volunteering group on a Monday afternoon.
The Monday volunteers assist the rangers with a variety of countryside management tasks which are generally less strenuous and involve only the use of hand tools in safe and accessible parts of the country park.
Recent tasks have seen the volunteer group helping the rangers by digging over areas of the Penn Hill wildlife garden ready for wildflower seed sowing in the autumn, weeding around the Ninesprings Café ready for half term visitors, maintaining paths by adding wood chip to the muddy patches and litter picking.
The volunteer group includes people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities and they either volunteer independently or as part of a community group or college.
St James based in Yeovil, a community based service for adults with learning difficulties, provide three regular volunteers each week. Volunteering to work at the country park allows those who attend to meet friends, extend their social circle, learn new work and life skills and become more independent within their local community (and they usually have a great deal of fun whilst doing so!).
For a number of years now, a group of volunteers from Cambian Lufton College have given up their time to help manage Yeovil Country Park. Cambian Lufton College in Yeovil provides specialist further education services in the South West and offers residential placements for young people aged 16 to 25 with a learning disability and complex needs. Karen Emonson, staff member from Cambian Lufton College said, “The group really enjoy helping each week and seeing the rangers and other volunteers.”
Becky Russell, Heritage Lottery Funded Community Ranger said, “Access to nature is proven to be hugely beneficial to health and wellbeing in adults and children. Enabling the adults to participate in habitat conservation in the outdoors improves physical activity levels and mental health. Yeovil Country Park has a great deal to offer local community groups and is on the doorstep of Yeovil making it easily accessible.”
Kristy Davies Countryside Ranger at Yeovil Country Park added, “Working with the volunteers on a Monday is extremely rewarding, they never fail to bring a smile to my face. We really value the work and the time that they offer to help all the rangers. Their efforts are fundamental to the overall management of Yeovil Country Park.”
We will be looking to recruit some new volunteers to join the Monday group through the summer holidays (July to September). If you would like to find out more, please contact the South Somerset District Council Countryside Service on 01935 462282 or electronically to [email protected].