This Volunteers’ Week, we want to celebrate the incredible work our volunteers do to help us further along our mission to create new, permanent woodlands across the Bristol-Avon catchment.

Amy Ivy Timms has been volunteering with us for just over a year, and is one of our amazing volunteer leaders helping us deliver our tree planting and tree care days at Great Avon Wood, as well as lending a hand at external events helping to promote Avon Needs Trees. We caught up with Amy to find out more about her experience volunteering with Avon Needs Trees and what motivated her to get involved.

Hi Amy! How did you first find out about Avon Needs Trees?

“From a friend who runs The Food Forest Project who thought ANT would be right up my street, and of course he was right!”

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

“Principally it’s about taking small actions to ameliorate the ongoing affects of climate change and biodiversity loss. It’s very easy to catastrophise and go into a state of anxiety, but from planting trees I know that I’m doing my bit (however small) to help. It’s also wonderful to work alongside a breadth of people from all different backgrounds and ages. I feel part of a very special community.”

Why do you support Avon Needs Trees?

“I originally come from an arts background but for the past year have been working hard to make a career change into forestry. Avon Needs Trees have been fundamental in helping me realise my goal of becoming a Woodland Officer. They are always on hand to offer advice and encouragement and it’s been inspiring to see them as a small charity grow and expand. Their values align with my own and as a volunteer leader I feel immensely supported and valued. It’s clear that every member of their team care deeply about what they do and I guarantee if you come volunteer for a day, you’ll leave with a feeling of achievement and camaraderie.”

Do you have a favourite volunteering memory you’d like to share?

“Probably the last planting day of this season which fell on Good Friday! Usually there are two leaders on a day, but on this occasion we had four. As a result we could split the group and work safely at opposite ends of the site. There was a real sense of industry, the volunteers just went for it; getting the final trees in the ground and replacing any existing broken guards and stakes. We achieved so much! Despite the weather starting off drizzly (with a dash of hail) at lunchtime the sun came out and we all picniced together set against the backdrop of all the past months hardwork. It was a great end to the season and after securing the site, there was still time for a quick celebratory drink at the local pub.”

Thank you to Amy for taking the time to chat with us and for all her hard work volunteering with us over the past year! Our work truly would not be possible without the support of our amazing volunteers. Feeling inspired and want to get involved? Head to our Volunteering page to find out more.