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The Conservation Volunteers

Staff from Johnson Controls Automotive (UK) on a volunteering day

Thirteen employees from Johnson Controls Automotive (UK) based at Burton upon Trent volunteered to build bridges in The National Forest. They teamed up with The Conservation Volunteers and spent a day improving access at the Forestry Commission’s Sence Valley Forest Park, coached in bridge construction by experienced The Conservation Volunteers leaders.

'In 2004, the World Environmental Center (an independent, not-for-profit, non-advocacy organisation established by the United Nations in 1974) awarded Johnson Controls its prestigious Gold Medal for International Corporation Achievement in Sustainable Development. The award recognises industry leadership initiatives and contributions to worldwide environmental quality and sustainable development. An independent jury comprised of distinguished international environmental experts carefully examined applications from many qualified multinational companies and awarded its top prize to Johnson Controls. This local Bridge Building event was as a result of our local commitment to the environment in and around the area of our Burton Plant.'

Getting involved with The Conservation Volunteers

BTCV volunteers on a BTCV conservation holiday

National Forest is a real chance to do hands on work in the Forest. Learn about tree management, hedge-laying and dry stone walling, and put it into action!

The Conservation Volunteers is always on the lookout for new volunteers. It’s a great way to get out in the fresh air, meet new people, get together with friends and ‘do your bit’ in caring for the countryside. Volunteer Group meets every Tuesday to work on different sites in the Forest. Tools maintenance every Wednesday, Practical conservation skills training courses at weekends.

The Conservation Volunteers’ Volunteer Officer programme will give you practical conservation and leadership skills that could be a vital step towards a career in the environmental sector. Volunteers are always needed in the office too: environmental work needs efficient administration, and effective marketing and promotion. You can learn these essentials with The Conservation Volunteers.

"Call this work?"

A conservation holiday with The Conservation Volunteers gives you fun and a great sense of achievement. In March 2005 experience a week of woodland skills in The National Forest: charcoal burning, woodland management, willow weaving and green woodworking. Help in a major landscape restoration programme at Daniel Hayes. At the end you’ll have had a great time, gained the The Conservation Volunteers Institute for Environmental Conservation Training certificate, and the blisters will already be healing!

All age tree planting with The Conservation Volunteers

BTCV volunteers planting a new woodland at Tinknall

Just to prove that you are never too old to plant a tree, The Conservation Volunteers volunteers recently got a new woodland off the ground in Ticknall and helped the keen, but slightly elderly, owners fulfil a dream. Living within The National Forest, Jean and Peter Burden had been able to benefit from extra grant aid to plant their woodland of three hectares, but both being in their 70’s were a little daunted at the prospect of planting thousands of trees.

Then someone told them about The Conservation Volunteers, and Jean contacted Lucy Ashworth, The Conservation Volunteers’ National Forest Project Officer at nearby Swadlincote. “Lucy was so helpful,” said Jean. “She fitted us into their programme in March, and a wonderful group of volunteers, old and young, turned up to help plant the trees. Some people brought their own trees that they’d grown from acorns. It was really heart warming to see all these people come to help us. They planted 1,000 trees we’d bought from The Conservation Volunteers Enterprises, all of super quality, and only about three have died.”

Jean continued, “This project has really given us a new lease of life. I’d had a spell of ill health, but with all the mental and physical challenge of setting this up, plus the joy of meeting all these new people, we both feel years younger. My husband is out there now, getting the site ready for the next phase of planting. A few people have said we’re mad, doing all this which we’ll never see grow to maturity, but that’s what it’s all about, doing something for the next generation.”

Jean and Peter have also had contractors in to create a large wildlife pond and construct rabbit-proof fencing. A public footpath has been improved and new stiles fitted. In November, as part of National Tree Week, The Conservation Volunteers volunteers will be back again to help plant a further 1,600 trees.