A Chance to Get Outdoors and Get Active
The wellbeing benefits of volunteering
Published: 18th Jul 2019
Claire Trapp tells how volunteering at Carymoor is giving her the chance to use her skills in wildlife conservation, get active and improve her wellbeing by working in the great outdoors.
How and why did you first start volunteering at Carymoor?
I brought my kids to Carymoor to make a bird box at a family day a few years ago, then I spotted an advert for the Green Workout programme (Carymoor’s five day course giving an introduction to winter conservation tasks) and decided to take part. It was a lot of fun and everyone was really friendly and inclusive, so I joined Carymoor’s group of regular volunteers who help out with conservation tasks every Tuesday.
What do you get involved in?
With the Tuesday group I get involved in a whole range of tasks such as planting wildflowers, coppicing, pollarding, hedge-laying, raking and scything, all with such a lovely bunch of people.
I am also carrying out reptile surveys for Carymoor. I have a foundation degree in Wildlife Countryside Management so volunteering at Carymoor gives me the chance to put what I know into practice and to continue to learn. From February to October I come up to Carymoor every other week and spend two hours walking around the site looking for grass snakes and slow worms or signs of their activity. The data I’m collecting will help Carymoor monitor the reptiles on the nature reserve.
I’m also hoping to get involved in surveying mammals like harvest mice and I’m working towards getting the license to monitor great crested newts.
What do you enjoy about volunteering?
It’s wonderful to feel so welcome; to use the skills I have and for the Carymoor team to really appreciate it. I also really enjoy working outdoors in nature; it is so good for your mental health.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering?
Come and give it a go. There’s such a range of things to get involved in and there’s no pressure, you can do as much as you like. Some of it is hard work and you may be tired but that’s part of the point. Since I started volunteering at Carymoor I have lost a stone! Volunteering has given me lots of opportunities to get active and has spurred me on to walk more, take more exercise and look at my diet.
You also meet likeminded people; enthusiastic volunteers that are doing their bit for the local community. It’s a lovely little gem of a place.
Interested in getting involved at Carymoor? Whether you have a few hours to spare or you’d like to help out every week, there’s a volunteering opportunity to suit your skills and interests. Visit www.carymoor.volunteermakers.org to find out more.