Berkshire Conservation Volunteers
Berkshire Conservation Volunteers carry out practical conservation tasks for local wildlife trusts and local councils on Sundays. Meeting point for transport is Reading Station but advance booking is required.
Further information at www.berkshire-conservation-volunteers.org.uk
Berkshire Heathlands Project
We have lost over 90% of heathland in Berkshire during the last 200 years. These once extensive heathlands which made up a substantial part of the county have been reduced through ploughing, “improvement”, development and neglect to around 40 fragmented and small sites, many still at risk. Despite this dramatic loss, the counties of Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire and Dorset account for 28% of the world’s heathlands. Heathlands are relict landscapes which can still inspire a feeling of wilderness so rare today. Some areas of Berkshire heathland are being restored and managed for future generations.
In 1997, through a partnership of the Greenham Community Trust and the then Newbury District Council (now West Berkshire Council), the open area of the former Greenham airbase was acquired for public use and enjoyment. This area is part of Greenham and Crookham Commons and is a nationally important Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) containing rare and fragile heathland habitat. The Commons are the largest single block of lowland heath in Berkshire and the Council’s 1,200 acre site offers an outstanding opportunity for local people to enjoy a vast open area. Contact: Greenham & Crookham Conservation Volunteers at www.gccv.org.uk
Bisham Barn Owl Project
The Bisham Barn Owl Group was established in 2014. We are a group of volunteers who run a nest box project primarily for Barn Owls, but also for Tawny Owls, Little Owls and Kestrels in the local area around Bisham. Our activities span the area around Maidenhead between Windsor and Reading. Full details about the group and our activities can be found on our website: http://bishambarnowlgroup.blogspot.co.uk/ Contact: Paul Warham, tel: 01628-890972 Also make a range of garden bird and bat boxes for sale online.
Other Conservation Volunteers
Bracknell Conservation Volunteers meet regularly to undertake various tasks around the area.
Finchampstead National Trust volunteer team have work parties throughout the year to help with conservation work in Finchampsted Ridges and Simons Wood.
The Wild groups in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead organise working parties for volunteers to get stuck into practical tasks like tree planting and scrub clearance.
Famous for its ancient, pollarded beech trees Burnham Beeches has been owned and managed by the Corporation of London since 1880. On the doorstep of Slough the 500 acres of woodland and common land are protected by Act of Parliament as a public open space “for the enjoyment of Londoners” and is a unique example of ancient managed woodland. Regular tasks are organised throughout the year with local groups.
Contact the Head Ranger for further information or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Good Gym combine keeping fit with helping local organisations on work parties, tree planting and litter picking. Other community activities include visiting older people to carry out physical tasks whilst “on the run”! See what’s planned around:
Windsor & Maidenheador
Greenham and Crookham Conservation Volunteers
Much of the site is the former Greenham Common Airbase, famous for cruise missiles and peace protesters, but a parish boundary runs right across the area so it is actually two adjacent commons, hence our name. The commons are now owned by West Berkshire Council, and we work with the site Ranger.
We meet at 10 am on the third Sunday of each month and usually work until about 4 pm, but there is absolutely no obligation to stay all day. Much of the work is the good ol’ favourite: tree and scrub-bashing to prevent the heathland reverting to woodland, but we do a range of other tasks too.
See our website www.gccv.org.uk for more detail including information about Greenham Common, dates, directions etc.
The Renewal Project
The RENEWAL Community Project is based around the urban stretch of the river Lambourn as it flows through Newbury. The project aims to involve the community in the history and wildlife of the river and carry out practical conservation tasks. There is a busy programme of events for adults and children, as well as an art project for schools and a gardening competition for residents. We are funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund and our partners include West Berkshire Council, Natural England, Newbury Town Council and the Environment Agency.
For more information see www.renewalproject.org.uk
The Local Wildlife Trust, Berkshire Buckinghamshire Oxfordshire own, lease or manage 88 nature reserves throughout the three counties. The Trust offers many opportunities for people to get involved directly in conservation work by joining one of over a dozen work parties. Volunteers are also needed for wardening, fund-raising and helping at special events. Wildlife Watch groups aimed at children 8+ are run in most areas. A programme of walks, talks visits and workshops is open to all. To find out what’s on visit www.bbowt.org.uk
BBOWT also administer the Dorothy Morley Conservation Awards for local conservation groups.