Out of the library and into the forest! As a volunteer in Peel Park, Laura Clavin has learned how to aPeel to the public. She’s helped kids carve pumpkins, and she’s carved out a place in our hearts for conservation. We caught up with her about her growing be-leaf in nature.
In 2018 I started going to the odd litter pick, then last year I was chair of the Wildlife Society.
Jess (The Peel Park Ranger) reached out. She said she wanted to continue working with the Wildlife Society. As chair I wanted to focus on the environment and the park and giving back.
I’ve helped out with events with the public. People need to know about conservation, and how important it is. We teach people about the conservation of the park and the meadows.
We also partnered to bring students to litter picks, conservation days, and forest schools! The council also runs seasonal events for schoolchildren – we carved pumpkins with kids for Halloween.
I’ve learned so much from Jess (the Peel Park Ranger).
I’ve learned some specific skills, like mammal surveying, and knowing different insects and plants. I started doing my horticulture level one course. I want to be a field assistant out in the wild, so these kinds of skills are great for that.
I’ve also learned more general skills – I’m way more confident, and a better public speaker. Co-hosting events with Peel Park Salford has brought out my confidence more. If you put me in a room with 50 people I can speak – I used to be terrified of doing that!
Leadership is a big one. I helped out in a big way at the Victorian Christmas festival. Jess was poorly, and I had to help the Salford Ranger run the event. A few years ago, I would have been like “nope!”, but this time, I got involved.
There were about 500 people at the event, a mix of students and residents, and one of the local schools sang at it. We were making free sustainable wreaths. A few years ago, I would have just asked “what do you want me to do?”, but this time I took charge of the situation!
People don’t realise how good volunteering looks on your CV and how good it is for your mental health.
Peel Park Salford do so many amazing things. More people should come along to it, and volunteer with us, because it’s such a rewarding experience.
It’s a good opportunity to further your teamwork, communication and your cooking skills. The flexibility was great for me – I might be in work one day but not the next day – so it’s great for people with a hectic schedule. It also makes you feel great to prepare a nice healthy meal for people who don’t normally get one.
Laura does a lot of promotion of the volunteering within the park speaking in her classes about our volunteering opportunities and encouraging her peers to volunteer. Laura also co-hosted the bioblitz last year that had over 50 students engaged.
Wednesday 30th March 2020