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Do you fancy becoming a countryside volunteer?

Spring Wood Picnic Site near Whalley
Spring Wood Picnic Site near Whalley
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Lancashire County Council's countryside service has opportunities available for anyone who enjoys the outdoors to get involved in looking after their favourite local beauty spot.

Volunteers play a vital part in keeping the county's country parks, picnic sites, nature reserves and community woodlands looking their best, by carrying out tasks such as planting and pruning, as well as small maintenance tasks such as fixing fences, gates or signs.

County Coun. Albert Atkinson, deputy leader for Lancashire County Council, said: "Being a countryside volunteer is a great way to stay fit, meet like-minded people and enjoy the outdoors. Volunteers not only have the satisfaction of seeing how their work benefits the environment of the sites, but also the positive impact on the wider community who enjoy visiting them. Volunteers also act as the council's 'eyes and ears' whenever they're out and about, to look out for and report any bigger issues which might need dealing with.

Lancashire County Council has more than 80 countryside sites, from big country parks such as Beacon Fell and Wycoller, to picnic sites such as Spring Wood, near Whalley and the Crook O' Lune, to nature reserves such as Preston Junction and Withnell Fold, and a wealth of smaller sites.

The council has recently appointed a new volunteer coordinator to work with volunteers around the county to organise and develop their activities.

County Coun. Atkinson added: "Volunteers play a vital role in looking after our countryside sites and we're lucky to currently have around 120 people who give their time to help take care of them. Prospective volunteers can opt to do as much or as little as they like, so there's no pressure to commit lots of your time. A lot of our countryside volunteers are people who visit their nearest site very frequently and have a sense of pride and ownership towards it, which is why they want to do their bit to keep it looking good.

"Our rangers make regular site visits, but don't always have the time to do everything themselves. We really rely on volunteers to carry out small day to day tasks such as carrying out repairs to seats and benches or cutting back vegetation, however one of the most valuable roles is simply to be our eyes and ears.

"We're also keen to develop the role of volunteers, and where local groups want to make bigger improvements to their local site, identify opportunities and support them to do that."

If you think you might be interested in working and volunteering along Lancashire Countryside Service please email countryside@lancashire.gov.uk.