Article - The River Blog

Volunteering Opportunities with Nature’s Holme

Author: Michelle King
Categories: Uncategorised

Volunteers are extremely valuable to River Holme Connections and without them, we simply couldn’t carry out our work in the river catchment area.

To give you an insight into the world of volunteering with River Holme Connections, we would like to introduce you to Mick, who is one of our enthusiastic and dedicated long-term volunteers.

How long have you been a volunteer for River Holme Connections?

8 years! I learnt about RHC volunteering opportunities through social media and word of mouth.

What volunteer tasks do you take part in?

A range of activities including litter picking, balsam bashing (invasive species control), tree planting (and the associated maintenance i.e., removing tree guards), hedge laying, photography for use on social media, website and literature, creating an annual RHC Calendar, river themed education activities with children, helping at events, giving RHC calendar and photography presentations on behalf of RHC to community groups, and riverfly monitoring (following a prescribed methodology; invertebrate life on the bed of a river is sampled, identified, and reported on to a national and local database to monitor the health of the river over an extended time).

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

There is great camaraderie among volunteers, staff and trustees. I enjoy the teamwork, sense of purpose (post-retirement) and the environmental benefits that are achieved though the volunteer tasks from; creating a cleaner and safer place for wildlife through litter picks/river clean ups to planting trees which helps tackle climate change.

I look forward to volunteering, enjoy the banter and have fun! We all get stuck-in, in small teams and accomplish a lot together to help the cause.  It’s also an opportunity to build friendships and develop skills; I learn a bit more each day I volunteer.

What training have you received?

I have been trained on health and safety, first aid, riverfly monitoring, electric fishing, hedge laying and balsam bashing. We are given guidance and training before we carry out each volunteer task.

What skills have you learnt?

I now have the confidence to be able to carry out more skilled practical activities on my own such as hedge laying.  My voluntary experience reinforces skills such as team working, enhances my photography skills and helps improve my wildlife identification skills.

Which are your favourite places in the catchment area?

The catchment area as a whole (the bigger picture), the catchment tributaries including the moorland and woodland, and Magdale.  I really like the industrial/derelict aspects of both Spa Wood and Bottoms Mill and how nature and wildlife are becoming more established in these areas.

Would you recommend volunteering and why?

UNDOUBTEDLY!  For young people, volunteering is a chance to meet new people, a chance to learn and develop social skills.  For older people, who may have just retired, it is a great way to gain a sense of routine, a sense of purpose, experience great team structure and have a good laugh.



Please get in touch if you would like to learn more!

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our volunteers for everything they do.




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