netw rk bulletin spring 2013
for TCV Scotland’s community Network
In this issue... Plans for Greenock’s new community garden............ 2 Going wild in Westquarter....... 3 What’s happening in the Ochils?................................... 4 Portlethen Moss Conservation Group.................. 6 A new face at Jupiter................ 8 Developing Scotland’s Natural Communities................. 9 Young people with something to celebrate............10 And, 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland................... 12
Volunteer Development Officer Amanda Joaquin and the Rhododendron ritual – see page 5.
Join in, feel good 1
Belville Community Garden
The skyline in Greenock changed dramatically earlier this year with the demolition of three 18 storey tower blocks dating from the 1960s. And, things are being transformed at ground level too with the development on the site of an ambitious community garden.
Staff and trainees from The Conservation Volunteers have attended several community events over the past two years introducing local youngsters to wildlife and nature. This is something we hope to continue in the months ahead as the garden develops.
The Belville Community Garden is funded by the BIG Lottery. It will provide a well designed, accessible community garden including shared allotment spaces, seating, access ramps, children’s event area and two ‘pods’ to host community activities. The start-up and construction phases of the project will be led by River Clyde Homes, working in partnership with Inverclyde Community Development Trust. Together they will deliver employability training in partnership with other local organisations on specialities such as horticultural training and health workshops. Construction of the garden begins this summer and should be complete in time
The way we were. Local youngsters during a community event in 2011, with the familiar tower blocks in the background. The flats are now gone, to be replaced by the Belville Community Garden.
Welcome to the following groups and organisations which have joined the Community Network recently:
for the growing season next year. Capacity building support will be provided to the Belville Steering Group on an ongoing basis to ensure that it becomes a separate legal entity responsible for the overall management and operation of the project. So, it’s exciting times for the Belville residents and literally is a case of ‘watch this space!’
Broompark Drive & Clayton Terrace Gardens Association (Glasgow) Community Central Halls (Glasgow) Dedridge Primary School (Livingston) Falkirk Wildlife Conservation Group Lochview Nursery School (Glasgow) Portlethen Moss Conservation Group (See page 6) St Charles’ Primary School (Glasgow) Tayport Community Trust (Fife) The E Team (Glasgow) The Whitmuir Project (West Linton) Toryglen Primary School (Glasgow) Westquarter Wildlife Group (See page 3) Woodacre Nursery School (Glasgow)
Going wild in Westquarter
hroughout Scotland many valued and much loved greenspaces and wildlife habitats are cared for with the help of committed groups of local people. This is usually in co-operation with landowners such as the local council who may not have the resources to fully look after all of the public spaces in their ownership and so welcome the input of local residents. Wherever possible, The Conservation Volunteers provides encouragement and support to such initiatives, an example being Westquarter Wildlife Group (WWG) in Falkirk.
WWG committee member Amanda Cameron and a young volunteer tree planting in the Glen.
WWG was set up in 2009 by a group of local residents to help care for Westquarter Glen, a wooded strip of land on either side of Westquarter Burn, in the Westquarter district of Falkirk. The Glen, which is owned by Falkirk Council, is a popular spot for local walkers, dog owners and youngsters. However, like many urban greenspaces, in recent years the Glen has suffered from a lack of management and a certain level of vandalism. With its motto of ‘Play, Explore and Grow’ WWG has set out to combat these problems and transform the Glen into a ‘safe, accessible and useable environment’. On the ground this means activities such as tree planting, repairing bridges, improving the path network, plus clearing invasive species such as Rhododendron, a task which The Conservation Volunteers has been involved with. In December 2012 TCV’s Stirling-based volunteer group made three visits to the Glen to remove Rhododendron, which according to WWG’s Fiona Stewart had been ‘swamping the Glen’. The TCV squad were able to provide some concentrated effort in removing the Rhodies and the cleared ground now provides the space and light to encourage native wildflowers and other species to flourish. The Conservation Volunteers input complemented similar work carried out by Falkirk Council’s own ‘HEROS’ – Housing Estate Regeneration Outcome Squad. WWG also has a strong educational slant within its activities. In May 2012 WWG,
Local youngsters ‘Meet the Species’ in 2012.
with the help of some kind weather, was a great success attracting hundreds of local residents of all ages.
supported by the Helix Project, organised a ‘Meet the Species’ event highlighting to local residents what a great wildlife resource they have on their doorstep and what they can do in its conservation. WWG invited a number of environmental organisations to participate in the event and provide a range of information stands, displays, and hands-on activities for local people to enjoy. The Conservation Volunteers was represented by a team of trainees from our Natural Talent and Natural Communities programmes. The trainees provided a variety of bugs and beasties for local youngsters to get up close and personal with. Meet the Species,
WWG has recently joined the Community Network, a major benefit being access to The Conservation Volunteers group insurance scheme. This will provide WWG with essential public liability cover enabling them to hold public events and carry out practical management work and other activities under their own steam. Looking ahead, WWG is planning another major public ‘eco’ event this summer on 15 June, which will again have the involvement and support of TCV staff and volunteers. So, with the enthusiasm and commitment of WWG and its members, the future is looking bright for Westquarter Glen as an attractive and welcoming place for local residents and wildlife. www.facebook.com/ westquarterwildlifegroup
A new VDO lands in the Ochil Hills By Amanda Joaquin (pictured on front cover)
After a very successful year as a TCV Natural Communities trainee, I have found my feet and landed firmly in my new role as a Volunteer Development Officer (VDO). I’m still employed by The Conservation Volunteers but I’m now seconded to the Ochils Landscape Partnership, based in Alloa, Clackmannanshire. The Ochils Landscape Partnership comprises of 20 local organisations, which together deliver 22 different projects, which seek to: • improve access to the Ochil Hills and River Devon • make improvements to the area’s built and natural heritage • provide interpretation of the landscape’s cultural, social and industrial past In short, our aim is to enhance the lives of people who live in the area and also to attract more visitors. My role has been to set up and manage four areas of work focused on volunteering and environmental education in the Ochils. These will provide local people of all ages with a broad spectrum of new and exciting opportunities to get involved. The projects I have been developing are:
Volunteer Conservation Programme The Ochils Landscape Partnership needs volunteers! There are opportunities to take part in a wide range of activities, including tree and wildflower planting, path maintenance, and scrub and pond clearance. Volunteers can also learn how to identify and record local flora and fauna, and they can take part in environmental surveying. We are looking for volunteers to help record data (text and photographs) on local invertebrates such as butterflies, bees and beetles, on ancient trees and earthworms, and on air quality and water levels – and much more! This data is vital in helping to protect and improve our environment. There are opportunities for volunteers to attend training workshops, to try something new, or further expand their existing skills. And we have volunteer ‘work’ days during the midweek and at weekends.
Ochils Festival 2013 The Ochils Festival will take place throughout June 2013 to encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the Ochils and Hillfoots among local people and visitors alike. The Festival will include a variety of talks, workshops and family fun activities to be held at venues and sites across the Ochil Hillfoot villages of Menstrie, Alva, Tillicoultry, Dollar, Muckhart and Blairlogie. There are 35+ events over this month, all of which are free.
Ochils Fest As part of the festival, Ochils Fest, on Saturday 15 June, will be our main funfilled event to celebrate and investigate the environment and heritage of the Ochils and Hillfoots. Join in and take part in a variety of activities such as building butterfly hibernation boxes, animal magic, citizen science, virtual landscape exploration, introduction to Geo-caching, and wood carving. There will be much more on the day, including face painting, circus skills, juggling and balloon modelling! If you live locally, look out for our Ochils Festival brochure and flyers. Many more events and activities will be added to our website at www.ochils.org.uk
Geo-caching competition Geo-caching is an outdoor treasure hunting game – a fun activity for all the family! The aim is to use GPS-enabled devices (or plain old paper if you prefer) to follow clues and discover caches (i.e. containers) hidden in the environment. We have created our very own Geo-caching Trail in the Ochils and Hillfoots. We are also running a Geocaching competition during June, with fantastic prizes to be won. To help volunteers get started we are hosting an ‘Introduction to Geocaching’ during Ochils Fest on 15 June at the Dumyat Centre, Menstrie. We will demonstrate how to use GPS via your GPS device or smartphone to find our caches. Those without a GPS device or smartphone can take away a paper-based version of our trail and join in just the same. There’s
DR KIRSTY MCALISTER
even a chance to win a GPS device by entering the competition! Prizes for the paper-based version of the competition include GPS, which will allow you to do the more high-tech version next time round!
Outdoor Environmental Education
The aim is to increase the number of children experiencing the outdoors and learning about nature in their local area. The outdoor education project will input to the Curriculum for Excellence already being delivered in the schools and encourage them to take ‘ownership’ of a local site.
Lights, camera, action! A main outcome of the education project will be the production by each school of a short animation or film during which the pupils will work directly with an animator or film maker. The film or animation will focus on what the pupils have learned during their environmental project and will use a range of materials to tell a unique story of their experiences of discovering and learning about their local environmental topic.
Over the past fifty years or so, thousands of conservation volunteers have taken part in the never ending (it seems that way!) fight to control the invasive Rhododendron ponticum as it envelops large swathes of land, preventing the growth of many native plants and flowers. The volunteers’ Rhodie ritual can be summed up in three short words – cut, drag, burn. Here, young volunteer Kyle is clearing Rhododendron from Woodland Park, a popular beauty spot on the outskirts of Alva. During the day the pupils will be able to take part in a variety of hands-on activities such as building butterfly hibernation boxes, mini-beast hunts, making tree cookies, citizen science, woodland storytelling, and river dipping. The pupils’ animation or film will be ‘Premiered’ as part of the Ochils Festival on the Schools Day in June at the Dumyat Centre, Menstrie. The Premier will be to the other classes involved, and parents will have the opportunity to view the podcasts at the Dumyat Centre after school hours or during Ochils Fest on 15 June. You never know, we may uncover the next Steven Spielberg or Nick Park (of Wallace and Gromit fame).
Get in touch! If you would like information about the volunteering opportunities or any of the above events, please visit www.ochils.org. uk or contact myself, Amanda Joaquin, at email@example.com or 01259 452520.
I am working with six local primary schools on an outdoor environmental education project taking place outside of the school grounds. Each class involved has been allocated their own site near their school best suited to their environmental topic. Topics include learning about local burns, including: river mini-beasts, water pollution and conservation, biodiversity in the local area, and flooding.
The Rhodie ritual
Volunteers at Blairlogie Orchard where they planted a variety of fruit and nut trees, in partnership with Stirling Council. The Ochils Landscape Partnership is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, EDF Energy, Clackmannanshire & Stirling Environment Trust, Clackmannanshire Council, The Scottish Government and the European Community Forth Valley and Lomond Leader 2007-2013 Programme, Scottish Natural Heritage, and Clackmannanshire Heritage Trust.
Protecting Portlethen’s peatland, and more!
Members of Portlethen & District Community Council and other interested individuals visiting Portlethen Moss. Article author and group Chairperson Denise Martin is eighth from the left.
aised bogs, whilst not sounding particularly glamourous, are one of Scotland’s most distinctive and important wildlife habitats. One example at Portlethen, south of Aberdeen, is cared for with the help of Portlethen Moss Conservation Group. Here, Denise Martin, founder member and Chairperson, outlines the group’s activities on the Moss and their other major project – the establishment of a community woodland:
Portlethen Moss is an area of rare natural raised acidic bog supporting a unique variety of plant and animal species. It lies between the busy A90 road and modern housing. Over the years the Moss has been subject to development pressures and consequently much of it has been lost. As a result, in 2004, a group of local volunteers formed the Portlethen Moss Conservation Group to work closely with Aberdeenshire Council to preserve what was left of this environmentally sensitive area and the unique flora and fauna it supports. By sourcing funding, access and environmental improvements have been carried out, which include all-ability
paths, seating, notice boards, planting trees, wildflowers and a hedgerow at the entrance creating biodiversity. We are about to create some new ponds in the wet areas to enhance the environment for amphibians, as the Moss supports a healthy population of newts, frogs and toads. Ranger-led events are held annually and with the improved access and interpretation the Moss is now visited regularly and utilised by schools for nature lessons. In short, many members of our community didn’t know the Moss existed until we raised awareness of it. Since then some very rare species of moths have been recorded, including one species, Rhopobota Myrtillana, that was never recorded in our part of Scotland before.
Typical bog dwellers – the common frog and insectivorous sundew.
Scotland has two ma in types of peat bog. Blanket bog is mo st extensive in the wet uplands of the north and west, whilst the less common raised bogs, such as Portlethen Moss, are found in the central and eastern lowlands. Ra ised bogs have developed as slo wly decaying vegetation such as sph agnum moss forms layers of peat. As more peat is created the area gra dually rises to form a raised bog. Raised bogs are acidic and low in nutrients so only spe cialised plants and animals can thrive in them. Scotland’s lowland rai sed bogs comprise approximate ly 40% of the UK total. According to Buglife* lowland raised bogs have declined dra matically in the UK in the past 100 years, from an estimated 95 ,000 hectares to 6,000 hectares, a reduction of approximately 94%. In Scotland it’s estimated the ori ginal 28,000 hectares of raised bo g has diminished to its current 2,500 he ctares. *Buglife 2010 – Scottis h Invertebrate Habitat Management: Lowland Raised Bogs
Creating the community woodland In 2007, after the new Portlethen Academy was built, Portlethen lost 40% of its local park to allow for the larger building and playing fields. The group identified an environmental and recreational need to replace the lost trees and green space and to address the documented lack of trees in the area. We approached Aberdeenshire Council (who owned a disused agricultural field, which had been purchased to provide space for playing fields that were no longer required after the academy playing fields were extended) with a proposal for a second project to create native community woodland on the disused field. The council was again very supportive and has worked with us to secure funding from various sources and we’ve now planted thousands of trees and an extensive hedgerow that surrounds the periphery of the site. We created a grass amphitheatre, planted wildflowers, installed all-ability paths, created two wet/bog areas, gated entrances and exits, seating, notice boards and natural wooden play equipment.
The Conservation Volunteers in Aberdeen has worked with the group for many years now, providing support and carrying out work for us. They played a large part in creating the woodland by helping us to plant many of the thousands of trees and to weed the hedgerow. The Conservation Volunteers are also helping at the Moss site and carry out annual gorse control for us which has been very successful in helping us to keep the growth of gorse down in a specific area where heather is growing. We are fortunate to have Yvonne Stephan and Pete Brinklow of TCV Aberdeen who are regulars at our meetings and offer us help, advice and support. For her part Yvonne is glad to be involved: “I just love working with our local community groups such as Portlethen Moss Conservation Group. It makes it all worthwhile!” Membership of the group is open to all, to help us conserve the Moss and carry out maintenance at the new woodland for many years to come, until it becomes established. Helping to preserve history at the Moss and create a little bit of new history with the woodland…
A forest of tree tubes (protection against nibbling animals) which will hopefully one day be replaced with a forest of mature trees.
“I just love working with our local community groups such as Portlethen Moss Conservation Group. It makes it all worthwhile!” Portlethen Moss Conservation Group is now a Scottish registered charity (No. SC040350). Please visit our website where you can find out more about what we do and see many superb colour photographs taken on the Moss and woodland site. www.portlethen-moss.org.uk
A helping hand
The local schools have been involved in the design and planting of the woodland and they use the area for outdoor activities. Even the local nursery carried out their sponsored ‘toddle’ there!
Former TCV Volunteer Officer Julie Partridge tackling some of the gorse.
PMCG awards To date we have received the following awards for our conservation work: Green Butterfly Award – 2009 Landscape Design Awards – ‘Commended’ for Rural Landscape Development – 2010 Scotland’s Finest Woods – New Native Wood category – ‘Highly Commended’ – 2011 Green Apple Award (Silver) – 2012
New face at Jupiter Earlier this year John Warnock started work as our Wildflower Nursery Manager at the Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre in Grangemouth. Here, John provides a little information about his background and plans for the future: Born and brought up in Glasgow, I left school at 17 and started work as apprentice gardener in the Glasgow Parks Department, working in beautiful Victorian greenhouses and parks across the city. I studied and trained at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for 3 years which was an amazing experience. I learned about species of plants from all over the world and beers from all round Edinburgh! I have worked for various local authorities in the central belt and the borders, initially managing a tree and shrub nursery and latterly in Further Education – teaching horticulture and environmental studies at Forth Valley College. I was delighted to be appointed Manager of The Jupiter Wildflower Nursery, informing everyone that I was the New Nancy!* My plan for the nursery is to continue the work of propagating local wildflowers and I look forward to meeting and working with TCV staff and volunteers, and having beers from all around Grangemouth! *John has taken on the Jupiter role from Nancy McIntyre who retired in early 2013 after a number of years spent working in the nursery and promoting her passion
New Nursery Manager John Warnock in the polytunnel.
for Scottish wildflowers. In 2008 Nancy was awarded the MBE for her services to wildlife conservation and thoroughly deserves time to relax and get her feet up. And, a belated farewell and thank you to Heath Brown who helped develop the Jupiter Nursery as well as co-ordinating opportunities for ‘corporate volunteering’ where staff from large organisations join The Conservation Volunteers on a worthwhile environmental project. Heath has joined the National Trust for Scotland in a similar role to develop its corporate volunteering opportunities. So, best wishes for the future to both Heath and Nancy.
The Conservation Volunteers has a new base in Edinburgh, having recently moved from Wester Hailes to the Mortonhall estate towards the south of the capital, near the A720 bypass. Contact details are on the back page.
Stirling volunteers Pictured here are TCV’s Ali Lawson (far left) and his Stirling volunteers group beside some of their drystone walling handiwork at Gartmorn Dam Country Park, by Sauchie, in Clackmannanshire. Ali and the team have been working on behalf of the local Disability Awareness Group and Clackmannanshire Council to improve the path around the Park’s reservoir. This will provide better access for visitors, particularly wheelchair users, enabling them to enjoy the wildlife and fine views on offer at Gartmorn.
Developing Natural Communities
he happy bunch pictured here is the latest crop of trainees in our Natural Communities programme, bringing the environment and communities together. Each trainee has a year-long paid placement during which they aim to encourage greater engagement between their host organisation and the local community, plus the wider public. The trainees and their host organisations are: Noelia Collado-Salas – The Conservation Volunteers (Stirling) Sarah Lewington – SNH Beinn Eighe (Wester Ross) Amy Styles – Laggan Forest Trust (Badenoch) Laura Eagleston – SNH Moine Mhor & Kilmartin House (Argyll) Amy Telford – RSPB Loch of Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire) Paul Gunn – Buglife (Stirling) You can keep up with the progress of the trainees by visiting their blogs at: www.tcv.org.uk/naturalcommunities
And, we’ve got talent: Natural Communities is modeled on the successful Natural Talent programme, in which ‘apprentices’ spend 12-18 months developing their skills and knowledge in a particular aspect of ecology or the environment. Find out what the apprentices are up to at: www.tcv.org.uk/naturaltalent
Front (left to right): Noelia, Sarah, and Amy (Styles). Middle: Laura and Amy (Telford), with Paul at the back.
Natural Communities and Natural Talent are funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Heading for the Great Outdoors
epresentatives of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) organisations in the Glasgow area had a taste of the outdoors during the recent ‘Great Outdoors from our Front Doors’ day, held at Pollok House in the city’s Pollok Country Park. The event had the simple aim of encouraging the participants to gain confidence in being outdoors and meet people who can help them and their community to do more outdoors. A number of environmental organisations were on hand to explain what they did and how people could get involved. The Conservation Volunteers was present in the shape of Faith Hillier who shared her knowledge of ponds and their wildlife, particularly toads and frogs.
Faith Hillier (on right) leads the search for life in a Pollok pond.
All of the BME groups present during the day had the opportunity to sign-up to follow-on activities where they could join one of the environmental organisations for a further day of outdoor activities. For its part The Conservation Volunteers in Glasgow hopes to involve one of the BME groups in some simple wildlife recording or a practical conservation task. ‘Great Outdoors from our Front Doors’ was a Sharing Good Practice event organised by Scottish Natural Heritage. Details of future events in this ongoing programme are available at: www.snh.gov.uk/policy-and-guidance/sharing-good-practice
Young people celebrate
The Get Some Credit and My Journey trainees are pictured here with their certificates.
A group of young people recently came together at Callander Youth Project to celebrate their achievements gained on TCV Scotland’s Get Some Credit and My Journey programmes. Twenty of the young people, aged 1624, had each spent up to 6 months on Get Some Credit which aimed to provide opportunities for the trainees to gain experience and qualifications necessary to compete for jobs within the environmental and land-based sectors. Another nine of those at Callander had participated in My Journey, two 3 month programmes for 1830 year olds to gain skills and confidence in leading groups outdoors. Get Some Credit and My Journey were held in locations as far afield as Inverness, Aberdeen, Ayr, Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow. Trainees on both programmes took part in a wide range of environmental activities, consolidating their learning by joining TCV Scotland’s regular conservation teams. As well as developing their skills ‘on the job’ the trainees had the opportunity to take part in training courses such as Leadership, Strimming, and Chainsaw use, plus TCV Scotland’s Employability Award. Due to their cost such opportunities would normally be difficult, if not impossible, for these young people to access. Some of the trainees also had work placements with
other organisations such as South Ayrshire Council and local Forest Enterprise operations. During their celebration event the trainees were presented with certificates of achievement from Gary Elliot of Skills Development Scotland, which had administered the Third Sector and Social Enterprise Funds for the Get Some Credit programme. Also present were staff from TCV Scotland and referral agencies who had acted as mentors during the programme, providing advice and support to the young people. TCV Scotland also ran an Employer Recruitment Day in Inverness, in partnership with Barnardo Works. Through this event one of our young people secured employment, success which we hope to duplicate by running similar events in other areas of Scotland.
“Of the twenty trainees who completed Get Some Credit, nine have gained employment…” Dee-Jay Peart, one of the trainees who successfully gained a job through the Get Some Credit programme.
One of the Callander event organisers was TCV Scotland’s Jenny Adams who said: “Of the twenty trainees who completed Get Some Credit, nine have gained employment, which is a fantastic result. An example is 17 year old Dee-Jay Peart who has gained a job with a tree surgeon in his native Northern Ireland. And, our work with the group is far from over. Mentoring will continue for another year helping the young people towards the goal they have identified for themselves, whether that is in further education, training or employment.”
Many thanks to Callander Youth Project for hosting the celebration event.
The trainee’s view A few weeks before the end of his Get Some Credit placement, 18 year old James Laird told of his experience with The Conservation Volunteers in Glasgow. How did you hear about TCV? Through the group I was with before, Positive Alternatives. They try to get people to build their confidence to get ready to get a job – I already had my confidence but you’ve got to go through that to get access to the job part.
“I’ve got loads of experience now, proper experience…”
James Laird (left) during a chainsaw maintenance session.
Why did you choose to volunteer with us? I just wanted to do the work. I had to do a pretty lengthy application form for Get Some Credit, just the usual kind of questions but I was told that 52 people applied and I was one of the three picked.
Was it easy to start your placement? Aye, it was dead easy. Everyone made me feel welcome when I started – everyone introduced themselves and treated you dead well. They’re all really helpful.
What did you do before this? I was actually working before but I got paid off. I was working as a heating engineer in a factory building the heaters for power plants. I went to the job centre for two weeks after getting paid off but that’s all I could take of that! People don’t like to see gaps on your CV when you apply for jobs so I make sure my CV is full of things, I used to volunteer too in Kilsyth doing green-keeping. It was an hour bus journey both ways but I didn’t mind that as they paid my expenses the same as happens here.
What tasks have you been involved in? I’ve done a lot of landscaping stuff like tree planting, scrub management, outdoor classrooms, and building decking. I see projects through with this – it’s good seeing something you start come to an end like plastic bottle greenhouses – we did one of those at a Milngavie school. It’s good because it’s always outside, you’re never standing around doing nothing – there’s always something to get on with.
What is it like to work with the other volunteers? It’s good. There’s a variety of people, different people. It was cool having a French guy here for a bit working with us and hearing about what he does and how he tells stories and that. It’s good to chat with people, hearing about where they’ve been and how they’ve got on. You learn from working with people with more experience too, like Brian who knows a lot, he’ll tell me a quicker way to do things just because he knows more because he’s done it before.
Have you made any friends here? Aye, Stuart and Ross definitely. They’re on Get Some Credit too. We’re going to go out for a drink sometime to catch up. We would never have met before because I’m from Kirkintilloch and Stuart’s from the West End, but it’s been brilliant to meet him and realise that we’ve got the same things we want to do and that we’re in the same boat.
What’s been the most enjoyable part? Just being outside and everything being hands-on. I could never work in an office now having done this.
What would you do if TCV didn’t exist? I’d probably just be volunteering somewhere else just to keep the job centre off me, but this is different. It’s good to be in a position where I’m getting experience I actually want now, doing things that will make me more employable and that I enjoy.
I’ve learned more. I see it as someone else’s hard work now you know. I always try to get my pals interested – “There’s nothing bad about it”, I say to them. But they don’t listen to me… but then they hear that I’m doing my chainsaw training and they’re like – “Are you getting that for free?” You should see their faces then!
What’s been the most significant change for you? Probably my attitude towards the environment. I always liked animals like, but I didn’t know about much else – I just never thought as much. I’m completely different now, the opposite of what I was when I started. It’s cool because I can see myself changing.
Would you recommend volunteering with TCV to others?
Do you think the experience has made you more employable?
Aye, definitely, I have done! I tell my pals that they’ve got nothing to lose, only to gain. They don’t do anything now, but they might as well give it a go.
Definitely. It’s even made me want to be out at work more – now I’m not knackered straight away when I start. I can do more and I enjoy it.
How would you sum up your TCV experience?
What do your family and friends think?
It’s been brilliant!
They think it’s good – that it’s constructive and they’re glad I’ve stuck at it. I try to tell my pals to do it but they don’t listen!
Do you care more about environmental issues now? I’ll be honest – before I used to litter and walk by schools and not even notice stuff that they did or had in the yard. It’s totally different now
Is there anything you’d like to add? Hopefully, if I get a job after this, that would make it even better. Eight months is a long time to commit to and not to have a guarantee of work after it, but you’ve got to be positive. I’ve got loads of experience now, proper experience, and I can say I’ve done all these things and not just little bits of them.
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The 2013 Spring & Summer Environmental and Community Leaders Training Programme is well underway. The programme includes a wide range of one and two day courses covering topics as diverse as Life in a Burn and Brushcutters & Trimmers. Details are available at http://bit.ly/TCVTrg2013
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The beauty of Scotland is captured wonderfully in this photo of a winter sunset by Sam Cairns of Kingussie High School. Sam’s evocative picture was one of the winning entries in the annual Focus Environment photography competition for Scotland’s secondary school pupils. The competition is sponsored by Chevron in partnership with TCV Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. All the winning and commended entries, plus details of the competition’s touring exhibition, can be viewed at www.focusenvironment.com
The Network Bulletin is published by TCV Scotland. Views and opinions expressed in the Bulletin do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or of The Conservation Volunteers.
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2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland celebrating Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes, wildlife and biodiversity. Scots and visitors alike are encouraged to discover or rediscover the natural attractions of the country and take part in an exciting programme of events. For further information visit: www.visitscotland.com/about/ nature-geography/year-ofnatural-scotland
Scotland’s annual Nature Festival offers a wealth of events, walks and talks to encourage people to explore Scotland’s wildlife and environment. To help promote the festival the organisers, the Scottish Biodiversity Forum, have teamed up with The List. To find out what’s on near you, visit the List website at www.list.co.uk and search for Scotland’s Nature Festival.
Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre Wood Street Grangemouth FK3 8LH T 01324 471600 F 01324 471600 E email@example.com The Donald Hendrie Building SAC Auchincruive Ayr KA6 5HW T 01292 525178 F 01292 521872 E firstname.lastname@example.org The Granary, 44 Mortonhall Gate, Edinburgh EH16 6TJ T 0131 664 6170 F 0131 664 0583 E email@example.com TCV Registered Office Sedum House Mallard Way Doncaster DN4 8DB T 01302 388883 F 01302 311531 E firstname.lastname@example.org [NetBul-Spring13/GB/RB/Sev]
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Where to find us
TCV Scotland’s community and environmental volunteering activities are supported by: