County council says, ‘thank you’ to countryside volunteers

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 09:40

Every year volunteers help Dorset County Council’s greenspace management teams to maintain the county’s rights of ways and open spaces.

There is a huge variety of work that volunteers get involved with from mending stiles, to clearing paths, felling trees, running visitor centres, building bridges, fencing and grass cutting.

In return for this help volunteers receive training in countryside management, information and resources needed to perform this role. The teams are made-up of like-minded people, developing skills and knowledge on the job with the opportunity to gain more formal training and qualifications. They also have the satisfaction of knowing that they are getting fit, improving Dorset’s environment, and making it more accessible to others.

Martin Hibbert, a volunteer in the Stours parishes and in Kington Magna and Buckhorn Weston, said:

“I find it really rewarding to volunteer with the county council’s rights of way team.

“Having retired 12 years ago it keeps me really active, and engaged with our local communities. The support, tools and training that the council provides means that we can help keep our footpaths in good shape, which encourages more people to use them”

In the last year volunteers have worked 16,000 hours helping with over 3000 miles of public rights of way, over 40 nature reserves, many of which are of national and international importance, three visitor centres and countless miles of highway verges.

Cllr Daryl Turner, Cabinet member for rural and built environment, said:

“Our volunteers provide invaluable support for our staff teams. Volunteering is a great way of making new friends, keeping active, and helping others as well as building up your CV for a career in countryside management. On behalf of the County Council I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who volunteers to make Dorset a better place.”

Anyone over the age of 18 can volunteer from a school leaver seeking a first step for a career in countryside management, to a retired person looking for further lifelong learning opportunities. The amount of time volunteers offer is up to them and the County Council’s team is always keen to fit around personal requirements where they can.

To find out more about volunteering opportunities with the greenspace management team call 01258 456970 or email

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