THERE is nothing quite like a walk in the countryside to relax body and soul.
And people with a passion for the great outdoors are being asked to give just a few hours of their time to ensure nature reserves at Horndean stay in tip-top condition.
The environmental rangers at Horndean Parish Council are calling on residents to volunteer to work alongside them on sites such as Catherington Down and Hazleton Common.
Matthew Madill is the grounds manager at the council.
He said: ‘We are a very small parish council covering a very large area of countryside so we need a bit of help because there is so much work.
‘It’s not just good for us, it’s good for the volunteers too because it gets them outside and keeps them fit.’
Matthew and his team of volunteers were out on Hazleton Common yesterday, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
At other times the volunteers will be out on Catherington Down.
Matthew said: ‘Some sites are healthland and we don’t want trees encroaching, we want to keep it clear.
‘It’s the same with the downland. We need to do scrub clearance and burn it in the afternoon.’
No previous experiences is needed and safety equipment and basic tool training is given by the council.
Volunteers should take a packed lunch but tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.
‘There will be those who look outside and think they would rather stay indoors in the warm’, said Matthew.
‘But you’d be amazed at how quickly you warm up doing this work.
‘It really is great for keeping fit and clears the mind too. There are so many benefits.’
The conservation work takes places on Thursdays from 10am until 2pm.
To find out more, call the council on (023) 9259 7766.
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