Keeping mind and body active in retirement

When he retired, Irving Lord began volunteering at some of the places we look after. He tells us how he's become more involved with the Trust.

‘I began volunteering for the Trust when I retired in 2006. Before then I worked for BA for 44 years in a variety of roles. I also carried out a leadership role with the Scouts for 33 years.
'I volunteer at Runnymede, Ankerwyke and Finchampstead Ridges in the Surrey countryside for ten days a month.
'I have a great interest in the natural world and volunteering keeps my brain and body active. In winter months I help build gates, stiles, fences and boardwalks. I carry out heathland and woodland management, including pollarding and coppicing ­ we use the coppiced hazel for traditional hedge-laying.
'Summers are spent cutting back bushes and grass patches to keep the visitor areas presentable. Working outdoors and with a great team of people ticks all the right boxes for me and helps me to cope with retirement.
'I also write for the My volunteering website and am an elected member of the Trust Council. A couple of years ago I spotted that the Council’s Nominations Committee were seeking candidates for election and were particularly keen to hear from people with “grass roots” experience of volunteering.
'Being curious and up for a challenge I followed the links through to the Trust website, read what it was all about and thought ‘I can do that’ ­ and so it proved to be!
'The task of the Council is to hold the Board of Trustees to account and be the guardian of the spirit of the Trust and its long-term objectives. We meet quarterly, but the June meeting is part of a three-day visit to one of the Trust's regions to see what life is like at Properties.
'We get copies of Board papers, agendas and meetings and the monthly Executive report - there is a lot of reading involved.
'I then pass this information on to other volunteers locally and more widely through my My-volunteering articles.
'There is a genuine desire on the part of the Council, to see more Trust members and volunteers involved in the Council work, either as candidates for election or by exercising their democratic right and voting. If, by being elected I can help that along, then that's great.’