A woodland trust is taking its clearing operation seriously - by launching a £1,000 training scheme to help volunteers beat the bramble.
The grant has been awarded to Waingroves Community Woodland Trust to look after its 20 volunteers by providing training in first aid and health and safety.
The funds have been released by Derbyshire Community Foundation and will be used to reduce the risks of accident while trustees work in the community owned beauty spot.
Chairman of the trust John Stamp “Whilst we all enjoy helping to look after the woodland, we have realised how difficult a place a woodland can be; tripping over brambles, lifting timber, being stung and working with power tools all can give rise to accidents, so some training to reduce risks and render first aid is absolutely vital.”
The woodland volunteers carry out varied tasks from bulb planting to tree-felling and even the odd piece of minor construction, erecting fences and gateposts.
The members also help run a series of events in the picturesque spot off Waingroves Road, which was bought by the community back in 2011 for more than £20,000 when its former owners Hansons Heidleberg chose to sell the site.
The purchase followed two years of dedicated fundraising by Waingroves villagers.
The volunteers are undertaking training within the ‘Volunteer Passport’ scheme operated by Derbyshire County Council and delivered through the Amber Valley Council for Voluntary Service (CVS).
The ‘Passport’ includes knowledge of first aid, health and safety, adult care, equality and diversity and ‘person centred working’ and includes a Disclosure and barring Service Check (DBC) previously known as the CRB.
Three volunteers will also be attending a three day emergency first aid course to ensure that at least one fully trained volunteer is present when work or activities are being carried out woodland. The first to complete a training course was John himself.
He said: “Although a small charity, health and safety legislation is a legal requirement.
Our woodland trust values the work done by its volunteers, but more importantly values the volunteers themselves. It’s really great small charities can rely on the County Council and Council for Voluntary Service to help train volunteers properly”.