Volunteers play an important role in the Central Scotland Forest. They have recently been involved in planting new woodland, managing existing woodland, building and erecting nest boxes, collecting seed and propagating trees, managing ponds, laying hedges, building paths and helping schools in their own environmental projects. Volunteer input to the Forest is co-ordinated by BTCV Scotland's Field Officer, Donna Milne.
If you would like to become more directly involved in the Forest there are a number of ways to do so depending on where you live and the time you can spare. No experience or special skills are required to volunteer in the Forest as all training is provided either on the job or through organised training courses. Moreover, travel and lunch expenses are reimbursed so you won't be out of pocket when volunteering. The main volunteer input is through the Forest Conservation Volunteer groups established in North Lanarkshire and West Lothian. There are also opportunities to become a Volunteer Officer (VO).
The North Lanarkshire Forest Conservation Volunteers have been established since August 1996. They meet every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am at NLVDA, Unit C, 94 Main Street, Wishaw. The group undertakes a wide variety of projects mainly assisting local community projects throughout North Lanarkshire but occasionally branching out into Falkirk and West Lothian. From time to time the group organises residentials and has worked on projects in Lochinver, Sutherland and South Uist in past years.
The West Lothian Forest Conservation Volunteers has only recently been founded. This group aims to undertake conservation projects throughout West Lothian but with a focus on helping existing community woodland projects. They meet every Friday at 10am at Volunteer Action, Jarvie Street, Bathgate, West Lothian. For those with more time available, perhaps looking to build their CV and gain experience in conservation and woodland work, there are opportunities to become a Volunteer Officer (VO) with BTCV Scotland at Oatridge Agricultural College near Broxburn. Again all training will be provided so no specialised skills are required. Volunteer Field Officers currently are involved in designing wildlife gardens, putting funding proposals together, running volunteer work days, working with schools and administration.
There are also opportunities to volunteer with the many local community projects spread throughout the Forest. These projects are run by local people to improve the local environment for the benefit of wildlife and local people. Wherever you live in the Forest there will be a community group nearby with which you can get involved.
If you would like more information on any of these volunteering opportunities please contact Donna Milne, Field Officer, BTCV Scotland, c/o Oatridge Agricultural College, Ecclesmachan, Broxburn, West Lothian, EH52 6NH. Telephone or Fax on 01506 859125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org