7th June 2017 at The Beach Hotel in Minehead saw our annual Get Involved Exmoor Conference 2017 – a celebration of volunteering and all the wonderful benefits it has to offer, both to the individual and the wider environment of Exmoor National Park. What better way to thank all our volunteers – bringing everyone together to share their knowledge and skills.
Volunteers are at the heart of what we do, getting involved in all aspects of the National Park from wildlife, conservation, surveying and scrub bashing to walk leading and welcoming visitors to this wonderful place. Whether it’s chasing butterflies or wading through rivers for crayfish, each of our volunteers come with an enthusiasm and passion to preserve the special qualities of Exmoor.
National Volunteers Week – Making a Difference was the perfect opportunity to hold a conference and demonstrated the wide variety of ways in which we can all help make a difference on Exmoor. We had the pleasure of listening to volunteer speakers and welcomed other partner organisations from across Exmoor, such as the National Trust, South West Lakes Trust, CITiZAN and the Exmoor Society to name but a few.
Some of the topics covered included restoring historic signposts, leading guided walks, planting trees and herding sheep! The atmosphere of the conference was full of positivity, joy and inspiration. After listening to the speakers, we spent time in the afternoon with Cat Oliver from North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, who supported us with a beach clean plus an eggcase, seaweed and nurdle hunt. Minehead beach appeared to be very clean, but despite this we still found over 80 pieces of litter!
From start to finish, both staff and volunteers had a fantastic day – we had many new volunteers signing up and will continue to meet with our project partners to develop exciting volunteer roles, now and in the future.
We are always thankful for how much time is contributed to this special place. If you are interested in finding out more, come and join us for coffee and cake on Monday 4th September at our National Park Centre Dunster (from 10:30 am) or email us more more details firstname.lastname@example.org