National Trust Conservation Camps


From the age of 16, Chris participated in several National Trust 'Acorn' Camps, where one volunteers for a week of practical conservation work at trust properties around the UK.  He had gained experience of practical conservation tasks by joining The Barclay School, Stevenage Conservation Corps, run by the Rural Studies (which went on to be Environmental Science) teacher Mr Alan White.  These were held on Sundays at Watery Grove (between Stevenage and Knebworth) which was an Oak-Hornbeam woodland leased to the Hertfordshire Naturalists Trust - where a range of tasks were undertaken from coppicing of the hornbeam to grubbing out over-grown ponds.  The bonfires and opportunities to use tools including axes, where sound instruction gave life-long skills - no doubt 15 or even 18-year-olds at school would not be permitted these days on 'Health & safety Grounds'!

 

With other participants on the National Trust Acorn Camp, Needles, Isle of Wight - note the yellow 'waterproofs' which proved so ineffective in the blizzard on Offa's Dyke path in the Black Mountains, Wales on a University of Southampton Hill-walking club outing 18 months later.

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