03/06/2019 - Permalink

Blog: Volunteering at Severn Valley Country Park – What it means to me

Related topics: Community / Leisure and culture / My area

Volunteering does not mean “doing something for nothing” because you get a lot back in return. I began to volunteer for just one day each week at Severn Valley Country Park in 1996, twenty three years ago, and I still enjoy every minute of it.

An image of a volunteer at Severn Valley Country Park.

Bill Watkins

Volunteering has become a huge part of my life and has given me immense satisfaction of doing something useful in my years of retirement. In addition to volunteering at Severn Valley Country Park, I also take part in other Voluntary activities such as car driving for the Community Car Scheme and helping with the Alveley Day Centre and Shropshire Wildlife Trust among others. I enjoy the greatest satisfaction from volunteering for the benefit of wildlife at Severn Valley Country Park.

Throughout the year there are many tasks in which to get involved. There are:

  • Fences, gates, stiles and picnic benches which need maintaining or in need of repair
  • There are pathways, boardwalks and cycle ways which have to be kept clear of overhanging vegetation
  • There are grassland meadows which need mowing and looking after as well as patches of woodland to coppice
  • There are hedgerows which require laying and trimming when appropriate
  • After strong winds there are often trees and branches which have to be removed when they fall
  • There are ditches and ponds which need to be kept clear of debris so there is always plenty to do.

It is a great opportunity to perform these jobs with other volunteers so you get to meet like-minded people and to work with them as well as getting to know them and to share their experiences and opinions. I have made many new friends through volunteering.

Outdoor volunteering also promotes a healthy lifestyle and a wonderful sense of well-being. The work is sometimes quite physical but at the same time is very beneficial to health. It promotes fitness through gentle exercise and a feeling that you have made a great contribution to the environment. There are so many opportunities to study the natural history of the Park and to learn more about the species of plants, animals and creatures which live there.

I feel that volunteering at Severn Valley Country Park has enabled me to make a significant contribution to enhance the wildlife there but in return has provided me with the huge sense of satisfaction and well-being which far outweighs my time and effort. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Bill Watkins, treasurer of Severn Valley Country Park Supporters Group

Volunteering at Severn Valley Country Park

Volunteers meet at the park every Tuesday and Thursday between 9am and 3pm and they are always happy to welcome new members.

An image of staff and volunteers at Severn Valley Country Park celebrating the Park being awarded the Green Flag.

Green Flag

The excellent work of Severn Valley Country Park Supporters Group has been recognised by a national award. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK. It is given to recognise outstanding work done by local volunteer groups in their own communities. Volunteers were also instrumental in helping Severn Valley Country Park achieve the Green Flag Award.

If you are interested in volunteering at Severn Valley Country Park, visit the website to find out more information. Alternatively, you can email: outdoor.recreation@shropshire.gov.uk or call 01746 781192.

#VolunteerWeek #ProudToMakeADifference