A Volunteer writes
Sue Bradley writes:
Having regularly walked round the Magog Down for a number of years and received much pleasure from doing so, I decided a couple of years ago to contribute something back by volunteering.
I have been working as a volunteer ranger which has involved walking round the Down and checking that all is OK. I am usually to be spotted in my high-viz jacket clutching a litter picker in one hand, rubbish bag in the other and binoculars round my neck as I make my way around the car park and along the paths, trying to keep the Down a clean and pleasant place to visit. As I go around I keep an eye out for problems such as broken gates, overgrown paths, vandalism (sadly we do occasionally suffer from it), dogs off lead where they should be on lead on the Down where skylarks nest, etc. An important part of my task, I feel, apart from representing the Trust, is to admire all the lovely dogs that visit us with their owners who, on the whole, are as friendly as their dogs. However, this is an optional part of the job!
I think that my strangest job recently, was to help a lady whose wellington boots had got stuck halfway down her legs; I had to pull them off her so that she could drive home! What a service we provide on the Magog Down!
Life is never dull when you volunteer! Walking round the Magog Down is a joy (unless it is raining and because you are a volunteer you don’t have to go out in the rain!). There are wonderful views from the top of the hill, good exercise and fresh air (who needs to pay for gym membership when you can puff up and down the hill!), friendly people who stop for a chat or take the trouble to thank me for picking up litter.
If you would like to contribute in any way, do get in touch using the contact form on our Volunteering page.
Next Working Party
The next Volunteers' working party will be on Wednesday 3rd May, 2017.
As ever all are welcome who would like to spend a couple of hours in fresh air and good company, doing a bit of physical work to assist in the management of Magog Down. Meet at 2 pm in the car park and bring stout gloves.
During the January and February sessions, the volunteers completed raking the grass margin alongside Villedomer Wood; our photographer caught them in action:
Become a volunteer
Ever since the land was purchased, the success of the Down has depended on many people contributing their time and effort to maintain and improve this remarkable asset in our village. Over the years, the Magog Down Volunteer Group has helped manage the pathways, fences and hedges, pulled pernicious weeds, maintained the signs and notice boards as well as providing a daily rota of people to lock and unlock the car park gates.
We are always looking for more volunteers to help in a variety of ways including some desk-based tasks, such as (not limited to):
- Managing our growing collection of digital images
- Writing articles for the Messenger
- contributing new articles
- checking dead links and letting us know
- suggesting up to date wording where needed
- Administering requests for Celebratory Plaques
- Stuffing envelopes for the annual distribution of car stickers, and delivering to the local area
There are also other occasional tasks on the Down itself which are ideal for Volunteers (as well as the monthly Working Party - see box):
- Participating in a volunteer ranger scheme
- Joining our gate locking and unlocking rota.
- Putting up signs occasionally (e.g. the 'Police Beware' posters)
- Changing the banners seasonally
- Monitoring and feedback on regular contractor jobs such as grass- and hedge-cutting
And most important of all, with all of this to be done, we really need somebody or people who can take on the role of Volunteer Leader to co-ordinate some of these activities, and perhaps one who might be willing to lead a weekend working party.
If you are interested in any of the above then please complete the enquiry form below:
Volunteering Enquiry Form
Monthly Working Party
If you like practical, hands-on work in the open air, then why not join our monthly "Working Party".
We normally meet on the first Wednesday of each month, convening at 2pm in the car park.
Feel free to turn up any month - look out for the distinctive yellow van! Or, if you would like to join the email list to have tasks and times confirmed in advance, then contact us using the form here.
The long (third of a mile!) hedgerow which we planted in February 2014 on the South Down has become well established and will undoubtedly benefit the bird and plant life on that part of the Down.
Other tasks have included controlling thistles, repairing seats, removing unwanted scrub and litter picking. See also the Recent Activities page.