In over five decades of inspiring people and improving places, The Conservation Volunteers has consistently supported people working locally to improve their environment and their life chances, and created resilience in the most vulnerable communities.

Welcome to The Conservation Volunteers blogs. Where we share what we do.

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Digging into Cassiobury Park’s history with Green Gym Volunteers

Digging into Cassiobury Park’s history with Green Gym Volunteers

Amateur archaeologists discovered some unidentified metalwork on a dig recently in the grounds of Swiss Cottage in Cassiobury Park.

In preparation for the archaeology dig this summer volunteers from a variety of groups got together to clear an area of the Cassiobury Nature Reserve.  TCV’s Cassiobury Green Gym Volunteers were joined by the Cassiobury Archaeology Volunteers and South West Hertfordshire Archaeological and Historical Society who helped them clear litter, undergrowth and fallen branches from the site of the Swiss Cottage.

Swiss Cottage was built by the Earl of Essex in the early 19th Century, when such … Continue reading

Marvellous moths!

Marvellous moths!

Hi everyone, it’s been a long time since my last blog and a lot has happened over the last few months. Let’s begin with September a month of woodlice, moths, minibeast hunts and politicians?!

I attended a Woodlice identification training day with CEDaR on the 3rd of September at Killough Community Centre in Co. Down, which was delivered by Roy Anderson. I had never considered learning how to identify woodlice before, but thought it might be beneficial to find out more about this group. The identification was extremely interesting and surprisingly easy to master. A group that I feel would … Continue reading

Volunteering with Green Team at Skelton Grange

Volunteering with Green Team at Skelton Grange

Written by Freya Lovett – Volunteer Officer at Skelton Grange Environment Centre…

Having had enough of the wet and the cold we’re looking forward to the change of seasons here at Skelton Grange with a range of activities coming up to get the site (and its inhabitants) ready for spring.

We have already had lots of volunteers in the past few weeks doing their bit for the environment by planting 350 trees and shrubs to make a new Hawthorne hedge and a Hazel coppice, both of which will provide an important habitat for birds, mammals and insects. We’ve also carried … Continue reading

Garden Year – February

After a month’s worth of digging, digging and a little more digging for most it’s  time to put down the fork and spade and begin to sow your first crops of the year. There are still plenty of jobs to do around the garden however so don’t think you’re out of the woods just yet! If January turned into a bit of write off, worry not! It’s not too late to turn your patches and get you pruning done, and then crack on with the jobs listed in this post later in February.


February is the month that the … Continue reading

Pruning and Tree Care Event – QE

It was a brisk January morning when a team of volunteers descended on the QE Orchards for a tree care and pruning day this weekend. People from all over the city came along to take care of the juvenile trees that were planted last year, as well as the Real Junk Food Project who provided a lovely warming lunch to keep the cold at bay.

The morning started with a health safety and tool talk from The Urban Orchard Project and TCV, giving all the volunteers a greater understanding of the tools they would be using and the task that … Continue reading

The Flood, Our Neighbours and the Inevitable Clear-up

The Flood, Our Neighbours and the Inevitable Clear-up

So it’s been a long time since this blog has been updated, but now the volunteers (like me!) have our own log-in so hopefully (fingers crossed) we will put some up with a bit more regularity from now on.

This post is to give people an update on how the recent flood has affected Skelton Grange and the surrounding area, and what we’re trying to do about it.

It has been over 2 weeks now since floods hit large parts of the UK on Boxing Day (26th December).Bits of Leeds have been badly affected, but at Skelton Grange we got … Continue reading

December Update

Hello once again to our regular monthly up date from the gang here at the Tree Life Centre and what we have been getting up to!  As it the final one of 2015 we hope you all had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.  Whilst we were, as usual, extremely busy over the course of the month, we closed the Centre for two weeks over the holiday period, so there is a little bit less to report, hence the blog may be a little bit shorter than usual.  Anyway, lets get on with it… As … Continue reading

Garden Year – Janurary

Garden Year - Janurary

The Growing Year – January

January has got to be one of the most hated months of the year; ten pounds of weight heavier and a few more than that in cash lighter. It’s generally cold and grey and the glow of the summer sun seems far, far away. Do not fear, TCV are near! It’s the time to get back outside and shift the winter blues; reap what you’ve sown the previous year and prepare yourselves for a fresh start and the new season.  Here at TCV Birmingham we’ve put together a handy post to guide you through your … Continue reading

Garden jobs in January

Finish digging your growing space. Clean pots and containers so they are free from pests and disease, dig compost or well-rotted manure in to your soil; and expose insect eggs to any frost. Finish harvesting any brassicas or leeks. Cut back any autumn fruiting raspberries. Clean water butts of sludge. Keep feeding your garden birds and make some fat cakes. Clean and oil your garden tools. Feed strawberry plants.

Finalise the veggies you would like to grow in your plot, order seeds. Start a bean trench where you will be growing runner beans, discard any left over brassica stems in … Continue reading

Muiravonside Country Park

Muiravonside Country Park is a lovely site for walking your dog however, with 170 acres of woodland to manage, the work of the volunteers spanned over the Autumn and Winter.

Although slightly soggy the volunteers were in good spirits as they looked over all the different sites in the park that were now free of any trace of rhododendron and laurel thanks to their hard work. This is the eventual aim of the invasive species management plan for the country park and the level of this work needed will slowly decrease over the coming years if all goes well!

Continue reading