Today (Monday 5th December) is International Volunteer Day. To celebrate we wanted to take the opportunity to thank all our volunteers for all their efforts and the great work that they do for the National Park.
In the first half of 2016/17 our volunteers have contributed around 1,000 days and annually they provide an incredible additional 20% capacity to our staff. They are a vital part of our team helping staff to deliver their work and in a number of cases providing entire programmes that we otherwise could not resource.
Volunteers help us in so many ways: from being a visible presence out in the National Park ,providing a warm welcome to visitors; surveying and maintaining the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail and other rights of ways; helping with bird surveys to inform agri-environment land management agreements; surveying woodlands and planting trees; helping with other habitat and species surveys and projects.
The help remove invasive species and with picking litter; surveying and completing conservation projects on scheduled monuments; supporting our Young Archaeologist Club; supporting solar and star gazing events; delivering a programme of public guided walks, or; a series of health walks and much more.
This year volunteers have engaged well over 500 people on public guided walks and over 100 people on health walks. Volunteers have removed 4 scheduled monuments from the ‘at risk’ list with a further 16 monuments due to be removed over the next 3 years through land management informed by their work. Equally importantly information provided has added 2 monuments onto the list.
A volunteer helped to draft our ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’ (drone) flying procedures whilst another is helping us to develop our volunteer management systems. Our volunteers provide expert advice through the Joint Local Access Forum and our review and scrutiny group, whilst others provide advocacy and support fundraising through the Northumberland National Park Foundation.
Our volunteers really are an integral part of our team and we could not do what we do without them. A big thank you from the staff and Members of Northumberland National Park Authority on International Volunteer Day.