Student Communications Ambassador, Sophie Gonzalez, shares her experience of volunteering to help the environment in Bath.
It’s Earth Day today and I’d like to invite you to learn a bit more about what you can do for the environment. As lockdown is slowly lifted, more and more activities are going to become available again, such as volunteering, which can be great fun and is a very good opportunity to meet new people and spend some time outside of our homes.
My experience with Bathscape
In September and October, I volunteered almost every week with Bathscape, a new scheme working in partnership with different charities and organisations (like Bath Spa University) to maintain Bath’s surrounding landscapes. They offer different types of volunteering opportunities such as virtual volunteering, content creators, surveying local species, and group activities focused on specific tasks outside like seed or tree planting, or litter picking.
I chose to volunteer at the group activities and it was always a pleasure to join for a couple of hours every week. I took part in various conservation activities in different places around the Twerton area, but volunteering usually happens twice a week in grasslands and woodlands all around Bath. I was able to learn how to scythe (great for perfecting my carving skills for my pumpkin at Halloween!), plant wildflower seeds and remove invasive species.
Every session started with a bit of an explanation and talk from one of the volunteer leaders giving us some information about the site itself, its use and history, the types of flora and fauna found there, and some facts about conservation and why it’s important. As I already had an interest in nature, it was really exciting to learn more about it.
These weekly sessions were such a great opportunity to spend some time outside (I got sunburnt a couple of times ooops!), learn some skills I probably wouldn't have had the chance to otherwise, discover lovely nature spots and meet some local people. Most of the regular volunteers tend to be retired, so it was a nice way to meet with local residents and be out of my comfort zone of ‘students’ for a bit. Plus it also gave me a great sense of fulfillment contributing some of my time and effort to a cause I’m passionate about!
How can you get involved?
Environmental volunteering is a great opportunity to educate yourself and contribute to improving the local environment, which if we all tried to contribute a bit it could eventually lead to big changes. If you’d like to try volunteering to help the environment, you can have a look at different organisations such as Bathscape, Avon Wildlife Trust or Bath City Farm.
Alternatively, the Eco Society also promotes volunteering events around Bath and is currently supporting the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Team! You can get in touch with the Eco Society via their Instagram.
Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.
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