The London Wildlife Trust activities in Hillingdon are organised either by the volunteer-led Hillingdon Group or by project staff based in our central or west London offices. Our Nature Reserves include glorious meadows and woodland, mostly in the valleys of the Rivers Colne, Frays, Crane and Yeading Brook, with the rivers themselves adding to the appeal.
All told, there are twelve LWT Nature Reserves in Hillingdon, most of which are in the central / southern parts of the Borough. Details of the Nature Reserves can be found on the London Wildlife Trust website (www.wildlondon.org.uk).
Our main need for volunteers is to work on the Nature Reserves. This goes on mostly in the autumn and winter (to limit disturbance to the wildlife) and often involves managing the meadows and woodland as well as path maintenance. Mowing the meadows in the autumn is especially important to stop them becoming overgrown, and they are great places to be on a sunny day when there’s still lots to see.
The Hillingdon Group generally work at weekends (usually Sunday), but staff lead teams on weekdays. Details can be obtained from the volunteering section of the website (www.wildlondon.org.uk) or by emailing the Hillingdon Group at LWTHillingdon@aol.com. Weekday tasks are coordinated by Simon Hawkins firstname.lastname@example.org.
One particular project that has just started is a river enhancement project on the Yeading Brook in Hayes, in conjunction with the Environment Agency. This will have weekly volunteer tasks throughout the winter, working to make the river bed and banks more diverse for wildlife. More details can be obtained from our project officer Tom White at email@example.com, or alternatively Andy Willmore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those are the main volunteering activities, but of course if people are keen to get involved in other ways such as promoting our work or the conservation message we should be glad to hear from them!
As for funding and help in kind, the Hillingdon Group activities are mostly covered by the Council grant. We have a good stock of tools and machinery, but repairs and renewals need to be covered so any help with that means more money left for projects. Also help with promotion and attracting volunteers is always needed.
Our staff obtain substantial grants from other sources to cover major projects and in particular this is what enables us to have project staff dedicated to the Hillingdon Nature Reserves. This is a continuous process because of the limited timescale of most grants, and of course there is always a wish-list of projects which are not currently funded.
People can of course help simply by joining London Wildlife Trust, either as individuals or as corporate members, even if they cannot play an active role. That can help so much in providing under-pinning funding.