Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Harrogate Supporters Group maintains reserves across the local area including at Staveley, Ripon and Burton Leonard, helping to look after and protect local wildlife, while ensuring the public can enjoy the reserves.
The group has 50 registered members and welcomes a core of 8-10 volunteers on each action day, but the scale of the work involved mean volunteers cannot achieve as much as they would like.
However, funding from Harrogate-based Engage Mutual means the group is able to purchase specialist machinery, which will allow volunteers to work more efficiently and cover much greater areas of land.
Andrew Dodd, a volunteer with the Trust and an Engage Mutual customer, signed up to the mutual’s 'Engage with your Community' customer initiative and applied for funding.
His successful application has led to more than £3,300 worth of support, which will fund the purchase of a brush cutter and a hedge cutter, so volunteers no longer have to carry out arduous tasks by hand. It will also pay for specialist training and safety equipment to ensure volunteers are able to use the machinery properly and safely.
Speaking of the funding, Andrew said, “Our group works to maintain the habitats of native wildlife on the reserves so school children, the public and nature lovers can enjoy the delights of the countryside. However, the scale of the work means we can’t do as much as we’d like.
“Support from Engage Mutual will allow us to purchase specialist machinery which will have a great impact on our efficiency, meaning even more people can benefit from YWT’s nature reserves in the area.”
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Harrogate Supporter Group is one of six successful community initiatives chosen this year to receive funding of up to £5,000, from a range of UK-wide applications submitted to Engage Mutual by its customers. 'Engage with your Community' is held in order to support those customers who are regularly involved with a good cause or community initiative.
This year’s initiative was the first where customers were given the option to choose the winners and voted on their favourite from 96 applications to the society.
Anna Drabble, Head of Community at Engage Mutual, adds, “North Yorkshire is lucky to have some fantastic countryside and Andrew’s group does great work in maintaining five key nature reserves to conserve and improve habitat, but also for the benefit of local people and the general public.
“We’re pleased to be able to support the project and help to make some of the hard work a little easier for the group.”