Record breaking year for National Trust volunteers

Somerset County Gazette: RICHARD Hunt and Oli Twist, two of the National Trust volunteers who helped on the Holnicote Estate and helped repair the Piles Mill waterwheel. PHOTO: Stephen Hayward RICHARD Hunt and Oli Twist, two of the National Trust volunteers who helped on the Holnicote Estate and helped repair the Piles Mill waterwheel. PHOTO: Stephen Hayward

NEARLY 16,000 hours of people’s time was volunteered to help look after the Holnicote Estate as the Exmoor Trust enjoyed a record breaking year for volunteering.

By the end of February, 15,920 hours of countryside volunteering was completed by 456 volunteers.

Some of the projects undertaken this year have been exceptional including the repair and restoration of the 17th Century Piles Mill waterwheel and the 3.5km of stone wall that is nearing completion behind Selworthy Church.

Paul Camp, ranger for Holnicote Estate said: “The Holnicote Estate covers an area of approximately 20 square miles and is an integral part of the local community.

“There are more than 250km of rights of way on the property that need to be looked after and maintained and much of this work is supported and carried out by volunteers.”

Karen Birch, Bunkhouse manager for the Trust added: “Volunteers may be on a weeklong working holiday, a group of friends enjoying time away together with a difference or they could be completing work experience as part of a college course.

“Whatever the task they completed we would like to say a very big thank you to all those who got involved.”

There are currently a number of volunteer roles available at Trust properties across Exmoor National Park at Dunster, Holnicote and North Devon.

Anyone interested can contact their local property or visit the relevant property web page for details.

For more information on working holidays go to www.national trust.org.uk/workingholidays

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