Volunteering in nature

Today was full of blustery winds, heavy rain showers and even hailstones, but first thing this morning I was greeted with a warm smile and a friendly welcome as I entered Hooton Hall, Wirral.
Hooton village memorial hall is believed to be a WW1 hut which is held in trust for the people of Hooton.  I didn’t know it existed until today but I’m glad I decided to visit the place and help out with some work that a nature company was doing there.
This Cheshire based company helps to connect people with nature and improve wellbeing.  Today they were asking for volunteers to help them at Hooton hall to install a new footpath within the grounds to improve access around the 4.5 acres of woodland.

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After a lovely cup of tea we went off into the woodland to work on this new footpath.
We started by placing a membrane on ground then placed edging planks along the sides.  Stakes were driven in the ground with a lump hammer along set intervals and nailed to the board. It was great being outdoors chatting to new people and I found the morning went by very quickly.

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After a yummy lunch, cup of tea and a warm by the fire we set off once again to the footpath.  We got busy with shovels, loading hardcore into wheelbarrows and trundling down to the prepared area to tip the material along the path.  The hardcore was raked as we went along, then I had a go of using the wacking plate over the surface to spread it and flatten it down.  Its amazing how much can be done in such a short time and what an impact it makes on the area.

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Volunteering benefits nature, the community and your wellbeing.  It’s a great way to make friends, learn new skills and improve your physical health.
I love to be out in all weather and after being out in the cold and rain today I feel alive and more a part of nature than I would have done if I’d have stayed inside warm.  It’s nice to have a sense of achievement, knowing I’ve helped make a difference to the local community and nature.

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