This Volunteers’ Week, we are highlighting some of our amazing volunteers and the fantastic work they do to help us create new, permanent woodlands across the Bristol-Avon river catchment. 

Charlie Kimber has been a volunteer leader for Great Avon Wood since last winter, carrying out the vital role of helping deliver our tree planting and tree care days at the site. We spoke to Charlie to find out more about why he volunteers with Avon Needs Trees and what he enjoys most about it.

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

“I was introduced by the Forest of Avon Trust.”

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

“I love thinking about how the actions we take today will positively transform the area’s biodiversity over a timescale of decades and centuries. I found out my daughter was on the way just before starting planting at Great Avon Wood, so I look forward to watching it grow up with her.”

Why do you support Avon Needs Trees?

“I came along to volunteer last winter (never having done anything like this before), and found everyone involved with the charity to be overwhelmingly welcoming, passionate and kind — from staff and volunteer leaders to other volunteers. I’ve learned so much about the outdoor world, it’s a wonderful community to be a part of, and the mission couldn’t be more important.”

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

“Sitting down for a sandwich after counting out the afternoon’s trees one December Friday, I was accosted by two lads who were desperate to plant more trees. Before I could take a bite, I’d been dragged back up the hill to help them steal a march on their older brothers who were still eating lunch. They had been involved with various other planting projects throughout the Chew Valley and could identify every sapling they planted — inspiration got me through my hunger!”

Thank you to Charlie for taking the time to chat with us and for all his help at Great Avon Wood the past two seasons! Our volunteers really are the heart of Avon Needs Trees and we simply would not be able to do the work we do without them. Fancy getting involved with volunteering? Head to our Volunteering page to find out more.