Over the last couple of years the Eastern Moors Partnership has relied heavily on their dedicated but limited number of volunteers. With the help of a three year grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), volunteering on the Eastern Moors is about to get big!
Existing volunteers for the Eastern Moors Partnership, a joint venture between the National Trust and the RSPB, have dedicated their time, sweat and skill delivering high level conservation, visitor experience, access, ecological and archaeological monitoring projects, but with limited resources. Katherine Clarke, Visitor Experience Manager for the Eastern Moors Partnership said, ‘The HLF grant means we can now build our capacity to deliver projects by expanding the number of volunteers helping to look after this special part of the Peak District National Park. We can also provide volunteers with the kit and equipment they both need and deserve, when carrying out vital project work.”
The £80,000 HLF grant will fund volunteer recruitment, training and essential clothing to do the job. It will also fund a vehicle to transport volunteers across the 10 square mile upland site, and pay for some of the tools, equipment and materials to carry out vital jobs such as dry stone walling, tree planting, bridleway resurfacing, wildlife surveying and archaeological monitoring.
The HLF grant will also help to pay for a new Community Involvement Ranger whose duties will include organising adult volunteering and will have a main focus of pushing forward the new Youth Ranger programme and Junior Rangers. Youth Rangers was trialed on the Eastern Moors in 2014 and proved popular with the targeted 12 – 18 year olds. Existing Youth Rangers meet on the Eastern Moors once a month to take part in similar volunteering tasks as the adult volunteer teams. Katherine Clarke said, “Young people get some bad press when in truth, most teenagers are hard working, passionate individuals looking for an outlet to focus their energy. Youth Rangers is this outlet for young people who get a kick out of being outside and helping to give nature a home in the Peak District.”
Volunteering really is for everyone on the Eastern Moors, with the HLF grant enabling the Eastern Moors Partnership to team up with the National Trust staff on the neighbouring Longshaw Estate, to deliver a full year of Muck In Days, incorporating Junior Rangers. As a family friendly volunteering opportunity Muck In Days give people of all ages and backgrounds a chance to get stuck in, volunteering their time to looking after the countryside on their doorstep. Alex Bryant, Warden for the Eastern Moors Partnership, said: “Family volunteering enables local people to get involved and help look after a piece of their local countryside. It is important that people are given ownership and responsibility for these special places to ensure they are cared for both for people and wildlife for years to come.” To become a Junior Ranger, youngsters simply turn up to Muck In Days and have a go at a volunteering task. They collect stamps and stickers and work towards gaining a badge and T-shirt.
The Eastern Moors, made up of accessible moorland and woodland in the stunning Peak District National Park and on the edge of Sheffield, boasts breathtaking scenery and is home to an abundance of wildlife. Teaming with cultural history, the site is almost entirely open access with a network of bridleways and footpaths and internationally renowned climbing edges.
To find out more about Youth Rangers, adult volunteering, Muck In Days or Junior Rangers, call Katherine Clarke on 07738 738844, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.