We arrived at the park in the morning and went through the health and safety run down, although, this wasn’t your usual health and safety briefing…we were informed of what to do in the event of a fire, what to do should someone need first aid, oh and what to do should an animal, such as one of the wolves, escape from its enclosure and start roaming the park!
With our volunteering vests on, walkie talkies tuned in, and our garden sheers at the ready, we headed to the car park to start our day. We cleared all the overgrown hedges and trees from the perimeter of the car park, with the company of the wonderful Park Assistants, ready for all the cars during the summer holidays.
After some cheesy chips and burgers for lunch, it was time to move into the park and start gardening on some of the paths. We were tasked with the path of a thousand stinging nettles (there were loads!). We cleared the whole path of overgrown hedges, weeds, and stinging nettles to make way for those visiting the park (and we were right by the horses who we got to stroke too). Not only did this all get cleared, it allowed us to see a baby deer walking freely down the path as it was being moved to another area of the park.
We had been gardening for about 6 hours, and after this the staff were kind enough to let us wonder round the park for the last hour of the day! From Otters and Owls, to Foxes and Bears, we were able to see all the animals enjoying their afternoon. We were also the last people to attempt the rope bridge, although Natalie is afraid of heights she attempted it and made it all the way! Oh and did I mention the bridge runs over the top of the Bear enclosure.
Although there were no thrilling wolf escapes, we had a great day volunteering at Wildwood Trust and it was amazing to see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to keep the park safe, secure, and well maintained for both the animals and those visiting. Thank you Wildwood for letting us volunteer here and particularly to the Park Assistants for keeping us company all day and showing us what to do.
We would strongly recommend contacting Wildwood for volunteering opportunities. Natalie and I helped out with the gardening, however, there are other opportunities such as helping with events, the keeper team, the ranger team etc. that all helps the conservation.
Watch our 25 Year Anniversary blog page here for updates every week on our volunteering progress.