A group of tree planting volunteers listening to a prep talk

Volunteering

A group of tree planting volunteers listening to a prep talk

Volunteering

Nothing is as strong as the heart of a volunteer”

– Jimmy Doolittle

1. Volunteer or employ locally?

2. Opportunities in Portugal

3. Opportunities in Ireland

4. What to expect

5. What to bring

Nothing is as strong as the heart of a volunteer”

– Jimmy Doolittle

1. Volunteer or employ locally?

2. Opportunities in Portugal

3. Opportunities in Ireland

4. What to expect

5. What to bring

Volunteer or employ locally?

We believe rewilding is as much about bringing back native flora and fauna to a region as it is creating sustainable economies in rural areas. For this reason, we made the commitment to employee local people wherever possible for our tree planting efforts. However, we also understand that to maximise our impact, inspiring people to get outside and tree plant through volunteering initiatives is a must. So, we are trying to strike a balance between the two.

At our reforestation projects in Ireland and the centre of Portugal, our partners hold regular volunteering initiatives to educate and inspire people. While at our projects in Scotland, Romania and Northern Portugal, we try to use only local labour.

As a rule of thumb, if you have to fly or increase your footprint to go plant trees then please don’t! There are tree planting initiatives in most areas and we encourage you to find something local to your area. We are looking to have UK and US projects setup by the end of 2020 so you can look forward to some new opportunities popping up.

A group of volunteers pose for a photo after a hard day of tree planting in the rain

Volunteer or employ locally?

We believe rewilding is as much about bringing back native flora and fauna to a region as it is creating sustainable economies in rural areas. For this reason, we made the commitment to employee local people wherever possible for our tree planting efforts. However, we also understand that to maximise our impact, inspiring people to get outside and tree plant through volunteering initiatives is a must. So, we are trying to strike a balance between the two.

At our reforestation projects in Ireland and the centre of Portugal, our partners hold regular volunteering initiatives to educate and inspire people. While at our projects in Scotland, Romania and Northern Portugal, we try to use only local labour.

A group of volunteers pose for a photo after a hard day of tree planting in the rain

As a rule of thumb, if you have to fly or increase your footprint to go plant trees then please don’t! There are tree planting initiatives in most areas and we encourage you to find something local to your area. We are looking to have UK and US projects setup by the end of 2020 so you can look forward to some new opportunities popping up.

Opportunities in Portugal

At our Native Oak Woodland Reforestation project, our partners Montis are regularly organising tree planting, forest management and conservation interventions in spring and autumn.

If you are based in Portugal, check out our partner’s Montis or Plantar Uma Arvore for volunteering opportunities.

A volunteer planting a tree in Portugal
A volunteer planting a tree in Portugal

Opportunities in Portugal

At our Native Oak Woodland Reforestation project, our partners Montis are regularly organising tree planting, forest management and conservation interventions in spring and autumn.

If you are based in Portugal, check out our partner’s Montis or Plantar Uma Arvore for volunteering opportunities.

 

Opportunities in Ireland

Our partners in Ireland are as enthusiastic to reforest as they are to inspire a generation to reconnect with nature. As such, they run a forest school, volunteer days both on their permaculture farm or for tree planting. They also have the long-term objective of building a circular walk through the forest we are planting for all to enjoy.

For more information about their volunteering initiatives can be found here.

A man in a green house in Ireland
A person pruning a young oak tree to promote growth

What to expect

A typical day’s volunteering starts at 9am at the plantation area. After short brief on safety and the day’s tasks, we set our volunteers to work. It’s light hearted, fun atmosphere where you’re likely to laugh and learn a lot while making new friends. We stop for a wholesome al fresco lunch and stiff coffee to see us through the afternoon. Tasks may include:

Pruning

To aid the natural regeneration of the woodland, a group of volunteers may be tasked with pruning trees, typically leaving the three best branches of each tree. As such, there is an increased concentration of energy in the growth of the chosen branches, which promotes growth, larger crowns and consequently greater shading.

Tree Planting

Probably the most rewarding of tasks, working in a small team, tree planters rotate the task of clearing, digging and planting. Depending on the quality/hardness of the soil we can plant anywhere between 100 and 500 trees per day based on 6 volunteers.

A pile of oak apples collected in the forest

Interventions

While some are pruning, and others tree planting, the remaining volunteers get involved in conservation interventions such building gabions in the waterlines that flow through the plantation area. These cylindrical gabions (a large cylindrical cage the filled with rocks) are installed to advance the retention of sediments to help conserve this stream.                 

Oak apples / galls

And while the adults are busy with the aforementioned, children often enjoy the task of picking oak apples/galls from the oak trees. Oak apples that resemble acorns, are the result of external aggressions such as insect bites or fungal attacks on a tree’s leaves or stems. They usually function as a place for the deposit of larvae by wasps and present a significant energy expenditure for the tree.

What to bring

We or our partners provide all the equipment required, you just need to bring an open mind and warm smile, as well as:

  • - Rain jacket
  • - Good shoes (hiking footwear)
  • - Bottle of water
  • - Warm clothes and gloves if in late autumn
  • - Sun cream and sun hat in early autumn and late spring
A group of volunteers building gabions to help restore waterlines

Opportunities in Ireland

Our partners in Ireland are as enthusiastic to reforest as they are to inspire a generation to reconnect with nature. As such, they run a forest school, volunteer days both on their permaculture farm or for tree planting. They also have the long-term objective of building a circular walk through the forest we are planting for all to enjoy.

For more information about their volunteering initiatives can be found here.

A man in a green house in Ireland

What to expect

A typical day’s volunteering starts at 9am at the plantation area. After short brief on safety and the day’s tasks, we set our volunteers to work. It’s light hearted, fun atmosphere where you’re likely to laugh and learn a lot while making new friends. We stop for a wholesome al fresco lunch and stiff coffee to see us through the afternoon. Tasks may include:

Pruning

To aid the natural regeneration of the woodland, a group of volunteers may be tasked with pruning trees, typically leaving the three best branches of each tree. As such, there is an increased concentration of energy in the growth of the chosen branches, which promotes growth, larger crowns and consequently greater shading.

Tree Planting

Probably the most rewarding of tasks, working in a small team, tree planters rotate the task of clearing, digging and planting. Depending on the quality/hardness of the soil we can plant anywhere between 100 and 500 trees per day based on 6 volunteers.

A person pruning a young oak tree to promote growth

Interventions

While some are pruning, and others tree planting, the remaining volunteers get involved in conservation interventions such building gabions in the waterlines that flow through the plantation area. These cylindrical gabions (a large cylindrical cage the filled with rocks) are installed to advance the retention of sediments to help conserve this stream.                 

Oak apples / galls

And while the adults are busy with the aforementioned, children often enjoy the task of picking oak apples/galls from the oak trees. Oak apples that resemble acorns, are the result of external aggressions such as insect bites or fungal attacks on a tree’s leaves or stems. They usually function as a place for the deposit of larvae by wasps and present a significant energy expenditure for the tree.

What to bring

We or our partners provide all the equipment required, you just need to bring an open mind and warm smile, as well as:

  • - Rain jacket
  • - Good shoes (hiking footwear)
  • - Bottle of water
  • - Warm clothes and gloves if in late autumn
  • - Sun cream and sun hat in early autumn and late spring
A group of volunteers building gabions to help restore waterlines

Sources & further reading

  1. 1. Moy Hill Farm – moyhillfarm.com
  2. 2. Montis – montisacn.blogspot.com
  3. 3. Plantar Uma Arvore – plantarumaarvore.org

Sources & further reading

✅ for peer reviewed research

  1. 1. Moy Hill Farm – moyhillfarm.com
  2. 2. Montis – montisacn.blogspot.com
  3. 3. Plantar Uma Arvore – plantarumaarvore.org