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Giving Yorkshire Wildlife Trust the tools they need to do an even better job

Posted in: Foundation

Andrew Dodd and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are maintaining Harrogate’s nature reserves for the enjoyment of the public

I’ve been volunteering for the Harrogate Supporter Group (HSG), part of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT), since it formed three years ago. We now have 50 members and last year YWT trained me to be a volunteer leader.

When I became aware of the Foundation Mutual Community Awards, I realised that the funding could make the group even more effective.

"We care for and protect wildlife and manage beautiful natural habitats both for the animals to live in and the general public to enjoy"

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust was founded 65 years ago and manages 80 reserves in what we like to call ‘God’s Own County’. As a volunteer leader of the Harrogate group, I help maintain five nature reserves in the local area. We care for and protect wildlife and manage beautiful natural habitats both for the animals to live in and the general public to enjoy.

As a group, we carry out practical conservation tasks such as building rafts for nesting birds, controlling invasive species, and more difficult work such as hedge-laying. Hedge-laying is an essential task, as it helps to rejuvenate existing hedgerows and provides weather protection for crops and homes for small animals, roosting bats and nesting birds.

"We didn’t have the correct machinery – our volunteers were doing a great job but often had to rely on YWT equipment being available and needed motorised tools"

When I found out about the Community Awards, I decided to apply as we were in desperate need of some proper hedge-laying tools and expertise. We didn’t have the correct machinery – our volunteers were doing a great job but often had to rely on YWT equipment being available and needed motorised tools that would allow us to cover a larger area.

I decided to apply for funding for a brushcutter or strimmer, and a motorised hedge cutter, plus training so we could operate them safely. With a fair crack, this would allow us to start taking on bigger projects and get more volunteers involved.

"I’m chuffed we received the funding from the Foundation as the work we do benefits so many people and, of course, future generations"

I’m chuffed we received the funding from the Foundation as the work we do benefits so many people and, of course, future generations. Also many of the volunteers learn practical skills that help them gain employment. The award was a real pat on the back and recognition of the things we do.