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Countryside Volunteers


Countryside Volunteers

Recent research suggests that over 82% of visitors to the National Park were willing to become involved in caring for it and over 70% were willing to become involved in practical conservation.

The countryside volunteers give people the chance to take part and get involved. People of all ages and from all walks of life take part in conservation tasks and work closely with the National Park ranger service.

The volunteers operate from two bases: one at Marsh Farm, near Leek and one at Brunts Barn, near Hathersage and carry out practical conservation tasks throughout the National Park. They also offer the opportunity to experience the environment at first hand to groups who might otherwise be excluded. A number of partnerships exist with special needs groups including Home Farm Trust who cater for adults with learning difficulties and who carry out regular conservation tasks.

Every year thousands of people help us with a wide variety of tasks at weekends, bank holidays, during school and college holidays and sometimes during the week at other times of the year. This all adds up to over 4,000 volunteer days per year.

Many different types of projects are tackled, usually of high conservation or amenity value. These are jobs which cannot be done more easily using machinery and would not normally be done by the National Park's own staff, local craftspeople or outside contractors.

Over the years our natural countryside has been adapted and changed by agriculture, housing, recreation and tourism. The Peak District National Park has many rich wildlife habitats and areas of outstanding natural beauty, but in order to protect them for future generations we must actively conserve and enhance.

Projects include:

footpath construction and repair
stile, step and footbridge building
fencing, walling, hedge laying and tree planting
nature reserve management and habitat protection work
erosion control, drainage and pond clearance
litter and rubbish collection

The Countryside Volunteers also work with English Nature in the Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve, with local Wildlife Trusts on their reserves and with Parish Councils on a variety of conservation projects. Many training courses are run throughout the year to teach basic practical countryside skills like drystone walling, hedge laying and culvert construction.


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