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New approach allows more people to volunteer in ancient woods

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The Forestry Commission is launching a range of volunteering opportunities at their woodlands in the Silverstone area in order to allow more people to learn new skills, make friends, keep fit and help maintain these historic woodlands.

Formerly part of the medieval hunting Whittlewood Forest area, Bucknell Wood and Hazelborough Wood are a mix of ancient woodlands with majestic oaks and younger conifer plantations that the Forestry Commission is gradually restoring to their natural broadleaf species mix.

 The woods are an important habitat for butterflies - the wood white butterfly in particular, which is in decline nationally but well established at these sites due to work carried out by the Forestry Commission and Butterfly Conservation. These woods are also valuable community spaces for local people to visit and enjoy, especially during the spring when many areas are full of beautiful bluebells.

 The Forestry Commission is asking for people to help with practical conservation and wildlife management tasks in the woodlands and have set up a range of volunteering opportunities to give as many people as possible the chance to get involved.

Jo Roberts, Volunteer Co-ordinator at the Forestry Commission, said:

 “We recognise that people often have other responsibilities that mean they struggle to find time for volunteering. By setting up a variety of sessions and roles, from weekly groups to one off projects and even jobs that take just 10 minutes a day, we believe there is much more flexibility for people to get involved.”

Pam Millichap, a Forestry Commission volunteer, said:

 "Volunteering is the best thing I have ever done. I love being out in the open, making new friends and learning about the forest. It also keeps me healthy and active."

Nigel Floyd, Forestry Commission volunteer, added:

 “Having done a desk job for most of my working life, it’s great to get out into the forest and work on conservation tasks with a great bunch of like minded people, whilst learning and caring about our environment.”

To find out more about the opportunities currently on offer visit or email

Notes to Editors

Media contact: Laura Freer, 07733 300176

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.