Volunteers Week 2021

Published by Vickie Sellick on

A volunteer at St Agnes Well, Cothlestone

Working with the public is core work for the AONB, both in helping people to enjoy and respect using the hills but also engaging and educating the public on things like species identification and habitat management.  

As the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme comprises the surrounding parishes of the AONB, its work in these areas brings a diverse range of interests and activities that make a huge difference to people and place. The partnership work they do will build opportunities across communities, bringing the principles of the hills closer to local neighbourhoods. It offers more people the opportunity to contribute, as well as building the capacity and skills of the volunteer base working across their project area.  

The Volunteer Rangers are one of the AONB volunteer groups which engages with the public using the hills the most. They are extra eyes and ears on the ground, assisting with the management of key sites and promoted routes by carrying out regular checks, litter picking, encouraging good behaviour and reporting on areas needing remedial actions such as fallen trees or broken gates.  These volunteers therefore can often be found talking to visitors; being a friendly face to offer local knowledge and advice about the AONB.  They are also involved in our events programme, representing the AONB at local shows and fetes and giving talks to local interest groups.  

There are opportunities for volunteers to provide significant face to face support at events and public engagement projects, accompanying the QLPS in a diverse programme of activities that reflect the enjoyment of bringing our work to a wide audience. These are proactive roles for anyone interested in helping communities learn about the heritage of the Quantock Hills and surrounding areas. Our volunteers have the opportunity to help audiences build confidence and be empowered to fully participate in the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme. 

This work will take many forms, from community-based engagement initiatives that need a great deal of people power, to events that cater for specific interests – it is a chance to work alongside the brilliant organisations and individuals across an unfolding programme of events and activities that celebrate the diverse interests of communities around the Quantock Hills. 

Most recently we have enjoyed working alongside partner organisations in bringing anything from gardening and guided walks to local audiences, to developing a large nature mural in an area with rich community links. Throughout these projects we have enjoyed a flavour of the diverse work and community connections the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme creates. We welcome anyone to join our wonderfully diverse team of volunteers looking to assist across these participatory activities.