Volunteers Week at Jodrell Bank

This week marks Volunteers Week and we want to send a huge thank you to all the volunteers here at Jodrell Bank.

From Astronomers, Beekeepers and Birdwatchers to Fern and Fungi experts, Gardeners, Gooseberry Growers and Wildlife Explorers, we have an army of supporters who give us their time, hard work and enthusiasm to help protect and celebrate this important site.

We’ve been working hard to develop volunteering opportunities at Jodrell Bank as part of our Heritage Lottery funded First Light Project. Here’s some of the wonderful work our volunteers get up to:

Our monthly Garden Volunteer days involve 12 regular gardeners who come to help us look after the 35 acres of beautiful arboretum here at Jodrell Bank, as well as helping to build homes for wildlife.

The brilliantly enthusiastic RSPB Wildlife Explorers join us several times a year for work party days, bringing with them a wealth of experience and oodles of energy.

The North West Fungi Group visit once a year for National Fungi Day, bringing over 100 different varieties of fungi found in the North West for a spectacular display, as well as forays into our own arboretum to spot the 120 or so fungi we have here.

Keen amateur astronomers Macclesfield Astronomical Society join our Engagement teams at several of our Stargazing evenings throughout the year, offering attendees the chance of glimpsing the stars and moon through a telescope or binoculars alongside learning about how to navigate the night sky.

The Goostrey Gooseberry Society are just around the corner from us and we’re forging a new friendship with them to explore the heritage of our site. A former gardener here and local resident Frank Carter bred 18 cultivars of Gooseberry, several of which were grown on site here, including Jodrell White and Blackden Gem. A handful of the growers know the best way to grow prize winning berries and have been sharing their wisdom with some of our garden volunteers in a bid to carry on the tradition of showing Gooseberries at the local show in July.

The Cheshire Beekeepers Association join us for the May half term with Master Beekeepers carrying out live beekeeping demonstrations at our Apiary. With over 200 years experience between them all we know we’re learning from the right people! They also help us at bluedot  as well as throughout the year as mentors for our own beekeepers in the gardening team.

Members of the British Fern Society returned to help renovate our Fern Collection in November 2017 with our gardening team and helped identify some fronds that our regular volunteers brought in from home. We spent the day planting over 100 new ferns, built a new log pile to help them thrive and enjoyed learning more about them from the experts.

RSPB Macclesfield join us several times a year for birdwatching and wildlife activities including the Big Garden Birdwatch. If they’re not wielding loppers and rakes for pond clearance days they’re wielding binoculars and helping our visitors to spot some of our resident wildlife.

Thanks again to everyone who supports us as a volunteer here at Jodrell Bank. Happy Volunteers Week!