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The Conservation Volunteers available for churchyards

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Mark Webster of The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) explains how they are working with local communities to improve their environment and are keen to help in more churchyards.

“TCV is the biggest nature conservation organisation that you have never heard of. It has been running practical activities helping both people and wildlife here in Norfolk and Suffolk for 50 years, which almost anyone can just turn up and join in on any day of the week. Our activities vary from day to day and season to season.  In summer we spend much of our time cutting and raking up grassy meadow areas – and we may be able to help manage your churchyard.

“Unlike some of the big organisations that you have heard of, TCV doesn’t own any land – we work at sites managed by lots of different people. In 2023 TCV teams worked at over 60 different locations in Norfolk and Suffolk, from urban sites in East Anglia’s most deprived neighbourhoods to some of the most tranquil bits of countryside around. Our main roving conservation team runs task days usually every weekday in Norfolk, with a free minibus provided to take volunteers from central Norwich to the sites we work at. There are also other groups operating at weekends across Norfolk. On any given day we have around five to 15 people, all keen to take action to improve biodiversity and help people get around their local green spaces. 

“Although the project provides huge benefits to the health of the participants, the main focus of our team when on site is to improve green spaces for both wildlife and local people.  We come equipped with brushcutters and a wide range of hand tools, so can tackle most land management tasks, with cutting and raking meadow areas a late summer/autumn specialty! One day a year with our team is generally sufficient to look after most churchyard wildlife areas, and we can sometimes arrange for funding to cover the costs of this work – please ask us for details. Failing that, the cost of hiring in the team is currently £340 (plus VAT) per day.  This covers everything including a fully trained member of staff to lead the group, our minibus, tools and equipment, and our public liability insurance.

“To contact us with any questions you might have, or to receive our activity programme, contact Team leader Mark Webster via norfolk@tcv.org.uk or 07740 899691.”  You can also find out more about TCV’s activities in Norfolk at www.tcv.org.uk/norfolk