New year, new you? Get fit for free as a local nature reserve volunteer

Working as a volunteer in Uckfield’s green and open spaces not only gets you out in the fresh air and keeps you active but also it increases your sense of self-worth and wellbeing.

Managing Uckfield’s green spaces is an all-year-round task and Town Council Ranger Geoff Pollard really appreciates the help and support he receives from volunteers. Sue, one of the regular volunteers, has found the whole experience life enforcing.

She said: “You meet like-minded people when you volunteer and you can learn an awful lot. At first, I was anxious about volunteering but it is really an incredibly positive thing to do – both physically and mentally. Absolutely give it a go!”

The type of jobs undertaken can vary across the year with some tasks needing two people to complete such as mending fences. Volunteers can work with Geoff across many of Uckfield’s open spaces but particularly in West Park Local Nature Reserve and Hempstead Meadows Local Nature Reserve.

Geoff says: “Some who might be interested are active retired people – even if they don’t want to come out on a regular basis. If they said they could fit in a morning once a month or once every six weeks that would be helpful. I am quite happy to have people on an ad hoc basis but the main thing is keeping in contact so that I can change or adjust the job that I do on a certain day according to the help that is available.”

Geoff also explained that the work carries on all year and, although they don’t go out to get wet, volunteers need to be wearing suitable clothing to keep them dry. And similarly, when it is hot weather they need to wear collared tops to protect their necks, hats for their heads, bring plenty to drink and lots of sunscreen.

If you are interested and can offer some time to Geoff please contact him on 07835 463479 or on email at ranger@uckfieldtc.gov.uk or visit the Uckfield Town Council website

Geoff with the Marsh Thistles in West Park Nature Reserve – thriving now it is no longer choked with bracken