This post is the first in a series of local volunteering opportunities. This week the focus is on environmental volunteering opportunities in and around Didcot.
The first five options are either in Didcot or the local villages. The latter three are further afield, albeit still in Oxfordshire.
1. Sustainable Didcot
Sustainable Didcot are a community action group. They are involved in a number of environmental initiatives around town. For example, they run a regular repair cafe, a clothes exchange swish, a community allotment, freecycle and swap shop events. They are also campaigning for Didcot to be awarded plastic free status. As you can imagine, volunteers are required to help out at these, and other, events. Contact the group or pop along to one of their Green Drinks events to find out more.
2. Earth Trust, Little Wittenham
Earth Trust offer a wide range of volunteering options, both at their Wittenham Clumps base and across other sites. Their website details current opportunities to help with events and visitor research, weekday and weekend conservation groups and to carry out centre maintenance.
3. Sutton Courtenay Environmental Education Centre
You, or your children, may well have visited this education centre on a school trip! Located beside Milton Park, volunteers are welcome to join the conservation and wildlife gardening group. They meet on alternate Fridays, no experience needed.
4. Litter picking
Didcot Town Council organise a yearly litter pick, usually in late March. They provide litter pickers, gloves, bags and (last year) donuts. You provide a couple of hours of your time to help pick up litter in and around town. I haven’t seen a litter pick organised for this year yet but will include future ones in my monthly event round up posts.
5. Species recording
Countrywide initiatives such as the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (end of January) and the Butterfly Conservation big butterfly count (July-August) can easily be done in your back garden or local patch. The surveys usually take an hour or less and by taking part you’ll help these charities assess the health of our environment.
6. Green gyms in Wallingford and Abingdon
If you fancy a workout but hate the gym you might enjoy green gyms. These groups are affiliated to The Conservation Volunteers and undertake outdoor conservation tasks. Abingdon Green Gym meets on Saturday mornings whereas Wallingford Green Gym meet on Tuesday mornings. No experience required.
7. Oxford Conservation Volunteers
A little further afield but perfect if you’re looking for a weekend volunteering option. OCV organise conservation volunteer work parties on Sunday mornings. Jobs may include scrub clearance, hedgelaying and tree planting. A minibus is organised to a variety of sites from central Oxford, check the OCV website for details.
8. Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
As well as the Sutton Courtenay Education Centre mentioned above BBOWT manage 86 other nature reserves across the three counties. They have a huge variety of volunteering options available. These include conservation work parties, wildlife surveyors and visitor assistants at reserves across the area. Full details on the BBOWT website.
If you have anything to add to this list of environmental volunteering opportunities in and around Didcot please comment below. Thank you!