The following is taken from this week's Green Scene column. It is written by Ellen Winter from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT).

Want to get fit? Get into outdoors more? Help local wildlife?

Did you know you can volunteer for GWT around Stroud?

Nature reserve managers George and Alan currently run outdoor volunteering sessions during the week and there’s also an opportunity at weekends.

As between them they currently look after 13 of our reserves near Stroud, including Frome Banks, Swift’s Hill and Daneway Banks, they need all the help they can get.

If you would like to get to know our reserves and the amazing, beautiful and unusual plants and animals that live there – from kingfishers and butterfly orchids to rugged oil beetles – volunteering is very satisfying. We provide information, tools, training and gloves, you can work at your own pace, and volunteers often bring homemade cakes to share.

George has just started a new group and the next few sessions will be at Box Wood. Participants will use loppers and bowsaws to coppice hazel trees and to open up areas (rides) to encourage butterflies. A kissing gate will be installed for easier public access. In March, George will need help finishing a cattle pen at our neighbouring Stuart Fawkes reserve to help our grazier manage the animals needed to graze the reserve, and putting in another kissing gate.

We also have lots of indoor volunteering opportunities. You really don’t have to be a hardy outdoor type. Jeannie has been volunteering with us for 32 years, and now comes into our head office each week to fill envelopes and help prepare material for our large number of events. She’s clear why she does it - it’s to help make a better world for her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, do contact our volunteer coordinator Donna Cavill: or 01452 383333.