A day of volunteer conservation work on the Yorkshire Coast can involve anything from woodland work or fencing to drystone walling or footpath repairs. Volunteers can also get involved in helping Rangers with biological surveys; recording wildlife and plant species of the diverse habitats we care for is vital to ensuring our wildflower meadows, ponds, maritime heath and woodlands thrive long into the future.
The Ranger team’s work programme also involves replanting hedgerows. A rapidly declining feature of the British landscape, hedges not only define the borders of fields, they provide an important natural habitat, cover for nesting birds and protective ‘corridors’ for wildlife to move safely around the countryside. At Hayburn Wyke we are removing non-native plants such as rhododendron, cherry laurel and sycamore from ancient woodland as it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for flora and fauna. With miles of footpaths bringing thousands of walkers to the coast every year, keeping them in good condition and ensuring styles, steps, boardwalks and gates are well maintained is essential.
There are many reasons to join in; one volunteer on the Yorkshire Coast shares his thoughts:
"I volunteer as I didn’t want retirement from full time work to be an end to working. Being outdoors, doing something of benefit to others, learning new skills and being part of a team were important to me. Volunteering as a Ranger with the National Trust has given me all of these together with the pleasure of working with different groups of people. I also like the fact that what we do is recognised by the public who we meet when we are out working. It suits me that I don’t have to commit to a number of sessions and I like the variety of working in different locations.”
If you’d like to volunteer but don’t have any experience, don't worry - we give on site training for all our volunteer tasks. We also support volunteers who may be looking to develop experience in a certain field and can often help when training opportunities become available within the National Trust.