County recognises importance of countryside volunteers

Residents and volunteers across Derbyshire are to be asked for their views on a new volunteer policy for the countryside service volunteers.

Derbyshire County Council is seeking comments on a draft volunteer policy which seeks to recognise the importance of volunteer work to the countryside service. The service manage sites across Derbyshire including country parks, visitors centres, wildlife sites, waterways, wetlands, woodlands, trails and greenways.

Each year members of the public provide more than 4,000 volunteer days for the council’s countryside service. They help with many tasks including scrub clearance, tree planting and tree felling, repairing footpaths, clearing ponds, helping out on guided walks and with activities for children.

The draft policy includes a volunteer agreement which sets out what role each volunteer is being asked to undertake, the amount of time the volunteer can offer and what the volunteer could expect from the council. Each volunteer will be given a induction training and support from a nominated member of staff.

Councillor Andy Botham, Deputy Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, said: “We want to put the fantastic work that our volunteers do for us on a more formal footing and would welcome comments from any member of the public on the draft policy that we have put together.

“Our volunteers carry out many hours of work for us – doing work that we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise and it is only right that we recognise what they do.”

The draft policy will be on the council’s website when the consultation starts – 29 July. The consultation ends on 6 September.

There are opportunities for volunteering with the council’s countryside service in some parts of the county – for more information contact Steve Cresswell on 01629 593660 or steve.cresswell@derbyshire.gov.uk