Over the years scores of people have enjoyed volunteering for Cove Brook Greenway Group but as people move on we are always keen to welcome new volunteers to our working parties. People may be reluctant to come along as they do not know what we do or what we would ask them to do. Perhaps they feel they do not have appropriate skills or maybe they are put off by meeting a group of strangers. So let us try to answer your questions.

Why do a group of characters from a variety of backgrounds meet once a month at various locations along the Brook? They carry out tasks to improve the Brook and its surroundings for the benefit of the local community and the wildlife found along the Brook.

What do they do exactly? A variety of tasks, including path clearing, cutting back undergrowth and brambles, pond clearing, occasional planting, litter picking and the retrieval of larger items from the Brook. Animal and plant surveys may be conducted and during the Autumn the hay meadows at Birchbrook and Southwood are cut and the hay removed to increase the number and diversity of wildflowers and wildlife.

What skills do these people need? None really. Guidance is given for all tasks and the use of any tools.

What do I need to bring? Only your enthusiasm! We do advise you to wear old clothes and stout, preferably waterproof, shoes or boots.

What do you provide? All necessary tools are provided, as are gloves. Helmets and safety glasses are issued when necessary and we provide free refreshments.

How long do volunteers stay during these work parties? As long or short a period as they like. Most work parties start at 10am and last for 2 – 3 hours. Work parties are held on the second Saturday of each month. Locations are advertised in our Newsletter and on the Website.

Do I need to be very fit? No, there are usually a variety of tasks to suit all abilities and people are encouraged to do as much, or as little, as they wish.

What’s the most important part of the work party? Safety! With water, uneven surfaces, steep banks, mud and sharp tools, great care must always be taken. A safety talk will always be given to new recruits and at the start of a task. Even a simple task such as litter picking may have some potential hidden hazards to be aware of.

What do people gain from it? Satisfaction in creating improvements. Making new friends. Maybe discovering new areas of the Greenway. Other benefits include healthy exercise in the fresh air and a chance to improve your knowledge of wildlife. The hours spent with us can also count towards the Duke of Edinburgh award and other schemes.

Anything else? Yes, our thanks for helping us to make a difference.

Do I have to live close to the Brook? No, like all other local groups you’ll be welcome no matter where you live. The majority of tasks are based near easy to reach, free parking facilities.

Any restrictions on people? Under 16s are welcome but must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

If I don’t want to join a Working Party is there anything else I can do? Yes, we’re always on the look out for new people with fresh ideas to join our committee, we also need help at our regular talks evenings and quiz night as well as manning our stall at events and giving talks about our work to other groups.

If I want to volunteer what do I do? You can just turn up for a Working Party and we’d be delighted to see you, or you could Contact Us by e-mail, on the phone or through the website