Can you volunteer with us in 2024?

Posted by Team BMC on 16/02/2024

The BMC volunteer dates for 2024 have just launched! We have a wealth of fantastic projects that we would love you to get involved with to support our Climate Project and Mend our Mountains campaign.

From sphagnum moss planting and invasive species clearance to footpath fixing and drainage ditch maintenance, the working environment is friendly, fun and supportive. Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned participant, everyone is welcome to help out. The projects are open to BMC members over 18 years of age and accompanying friends, but no dogs, sorry. Book early to avoid disappointment as there are limited spaces available. Which one will you join us on this year? 

What’s on where and when?

23 March - Sphagnum Planting Day in the Peak District

Volunteer alongside other BMC members to help National Trust with conservation work on the Peak District’s high moor tops The work at this volunteer day will consist of sphagnum moss planting. This event will provide a valuable opportunity to give something back to our uplands and at the same time learn a little about moorland habitat, conservation and restoration from highly knowledgeable rangers.

24 March - Invasive Species Clearance on Winter Hill 

Winter Hill is the large peatland moor north of Bolton. Ravaged by a moorland fire in 2018, the burnt peat is now being colonised by Molinia grass and Rhododendrons. Although attractive to look at, rhododendrons are an invasive species, which outcompete all native plants, so nothing grows underneath, reducing biodiversity. With heavy rain the bare peat underneath washes away, adding to erosion, reducing quality of drinking water and increasing flood risk. As part of our Climate Project we want to keep the peat on the hill where it stores huge amounts of carbon. Removing rhododendrons will benefit nature, reduce flood risk, improve our water quality and help fight climate change.

 

8-9 April, 29-30 April, 14-15 Aug - Mend our Mountains Get Stuck In! Lake District

Volunteers work 6-8 hours a day as part of a small team, supervised and directed by National Trust staff, in various conservation projects in the Lake District. The precise project will be decided by the National Trust Rangers depending on number of volunteers and weather conditions at the time, but might include path maintenance, drainage projects, stepping stones, vegetation clearance or cairn-scattering. Volunteers must attend both work days. Three night’s free accommodation is provided by the BMC in a FRCC bunkhouse so volunteers can enjoy an optional walking day after the two working days.

 

15-16 April, 19-20 June, 21-22 Aug, 16-17 Sept - Mend our Mountains Get Stuck In! Eryri (Snowdonia)

In association with the National Trust, the BMC are arranging conservation projects in the mountains of Eryri (Snowdonia). The precise project will be decided by the National Trust Rangers depending on number of volunteers and weather conditions at the time, but might include 6-8 hours of path maintenance, drainage projects, stepping stones, vegetation clearance or cairn-scattering. Volunteers must attend both work days. Three night’s free accommodation in a National Trust bunkhouse is provided so volunteers can enjoy an optional walking day after the two working days.

 

13 October and 10 November - BMC Mend Our Mountains Get Stuck In! Peak District Moorland Conservation Volunteering Days

Volunteer alongside other BMC members to help National Trust with conservation work as part of our wider Climate Project campaign. This project takes place on the Peak District’s high moor tops that form part of the northern half of NT’s Kinder and High Peak Estate, adjacent to the Snake Pass (A57) or above the nearby Upper Derwent Valley. The 5-6 hours of work will likely consist of: sphagnum moss planting, sitka spruce sapling removal or clough woodland young trees. National Trust will decide which task we will carry out nearer the time, depending on progress with their various work programmes. This event will provide a valuable opportunity to give back to our uplands and learn about moorland habitat, conservation and restoration from highly knowledgeable rangers.

What to wear?

Sturdy walking boots with soles offering good grip and gaiters are also recommended, full waterproofs, plenty of warm layers including a warm hat and gloves, and spare gloves, a small first aid kit for personal use (plus any medication you need), and a hat/sunhat and sunscreen. Basically, all your usual kit for a full day out on the hill appropriate to the season. While we expect to be off the hill long before nightfall, carrying a small torch or headtorch may be wise.

You will also need a pair of heavy duty gardening gloves, but if you forget them, NT will likely have spare pairs. All other tools and equipment, plus instruction in their use, will be supplied by the National Trust.

Need help financially with outdoor kit?

Access to these volunteer opportunities can be difficult if you don’t have the money to buy the right outdoor gear, but help is at hand in the form of Kitsquad, a not-for-profit organisation set up to assist people from low income backgrounds by giving free outdoor kit. Take a look here.

Do we get fed?

No catering is provided so please bring sufficient food and drink including a flask with a hot drink in colder weather and plenty of water, especially in hot weather, for a full day working out on the hill. Homemade cakes or flapjacks to share always go down well if you’re a good baker! There are no public toilets once on the hill either, so bring loo paper and dog poo bags to carry out any waste - leave no trace.

The BMC looks forward to welcoming you on one or more of these projects this year. Click here to view more details about all the volunteer opportunities in 2024.



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26/02/2024
I'm inspired by the BMC's commitment to environmental conservation and community involvement. As someone passionate about sustainable initiatives, I appreciate the emphasis on hands-on projects like sphagnum moss planting and invasive species clearance. It reminds me of the collaborative spirit we embrace at Scrile Connect (https://www.scrile.com/connect), where we develop platforms for creators who are equally passionate about making a positive impact. Engaging in such meaningful outdoor activities is a great way to contribute to our planet's health while fostering a sense of community.
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