Whats happening We have received information from HQ explaining the clubs position on Countryside Care. Last May the Director General issued a ’green paper’ notifying the C.C.O’s of the following extracts:
National Council hopes that all Regions, District Associations and Sections will consider their involvement with Countryside Care and ensure that a Countryside Care Officer is appointed for their unit. All Countryside Care work is Voluntary. T he Club has a National Countryside Care Officer to work with club unit C.C.O’s and provide advice, guidance and support for the work the Officers are organising.
The National C.C.O. also works with the Club Sites Department to carry out work on Club Sites. This work will often involve specific Countryside Care Workers who have specific skills and qualifications along with local Club Countryside Volunteers.
It must be stressed that Site Working Parties which work on Club Sites at the start and end of the camping season are not part of Countryside Care, these Site Working Parties are given free camping.
Furthermore a seminar was held last year for Regional C.C.O’s at Blackmore Club Site. David Guest, representing the Camping And Caravan Magazine outlined the purpose of the event:-
Countryside Care is not a special interest section, but has a very important roll to play. The Country Side Care Seminar has been held to help train the Regional C.C.O.’s , how to do best practices in Countryside Care and how to get more people involved.
According to Norman Hensley, National C.C.O. :- Countryside Care, or Conservation to be more correct, the idea is we go to wherever we are asked to go and look after the trees hedges and ponds, putting back into the countryside things that we have taken out, volunteering on Club Sites, Private Sites, Schools & Churches. Idea is there are so many D.A.’s ,Regions and Sections asking about Countryside Care ‘where can we go? Where can we do it?’ Obviously we have to tell them about Health & Safety of tools and risk assessment that we went through ( at the seminar). So The idea was to bring all the Regional C.C.O’s to do the seminar and they can go back and cascade it to the D.A’s to let them know where we can go and where they can go. Not just club sites but anywhere we can go to do something for the countryside.
The idea is to get more people involved and let them know more about what is happening. There are a lot of people out there who don’t know exactly what to do. Hopefully the idea is to get more people involved round the country.
We have concentrated on Caring for the Countryside and its wildlife fauna and flora. Encouraging members to be wildlife friendly both at home and camping. To this end we arranged DDA’s Membership of Dorset Wildlife Trust, and encouraged participation in DWT events and activities organised for us through DWT. We have also supplied 20 members to restore the dog walk and sheep drove over a weekend at the Cheddar Club Site, our subsequent offers to help on Club Sites have been declined.
We intend to continue our current policy until we receive instructions to the contrary ‘cascaded’ down to us from above.
We are here to represent the members, should you wish to participate in Club Site Maintenance and Conservation please let us know and we will negotiate with Club Sites Committee and the National C.C.O. on your behaves to identify their requirements.
If you have specific skills and qualifications in dry stone walling chainsaw/strimmer operation, hedging and ditching , first aid, health and safety or risk assessment and would like to get involved please let us know . If you have any comments or enquiries on the topic of Countryside Care please phone us on Anne’s phone or contact Sue Butchers via the DDA contact form for forwarding to us.
If you want information of all the Dorset Wildlife Trust activities available to you as a member under our ‘Corporate Membership’ click the following link:-www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk Anne & Gordon Colman C.C.O’s DDA Tel: 07946 522992