05/06/2019 - Permalink

Blog: Don Bannister talk about volunteering at Severn Valley Country Park

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At the time of taking voluntary redundancy in 1991, Severn Valley Country Park was just being established. I started to help the new ranger with a few voluntary jobs including photographic displays and found I was a “volunteer”.

I have now enjoyed 28 years as such and realise that volunteers are needed in every aspect of modern life. Working for the Country Park involves woodland maintenance, wildlife pool conservation, new projects such as building bird hides, in fact anything involving an outdoor healthy lifestyle with fellow volunteers. After forming a committee, we are now able to apply for grants which the council employed rangers are not able to do. To date we have raised £25,000 in grants with a further £6,000 in the pipeline.

An image of volunteers working on a pond at Severn Valley Country Park while volunteering.

The Country Park is now so successful that we have 40 volunteers on the books and have been awarded the Queen’s Award for voluntary service, the highest award in its class, equivalent to an MBE. We now cover any necessary outdoor work including wildlife surveys and school visits. What more could anyone wish for. Although almost 82 years old I am still looking forward to more years of volunteering, if at a slower pace.

Don Bannister, Chairman 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.

The excellent work of Severn Valley Country Park Supporter’s 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.

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