Will Jones, Wild East Devon Engagement & Participation Officer:
The Charcoal Volunteers are a brand new team for 2020 focusing on an unsung aspect of our work: the development of waste into a product. In the past, we have burned our excess wood from nature reserve management in bonfires, causing a small but unnecessary environmental damage. We now make the wood into charcoal to give a new lease of life to otherwise waste produce using our impressive Charcoal Retort at Knapp Copse Nature Reserve near Honiton.
With increasing demand from local outlets Darts Farm and In My Back Yard as well as national distribution partners Piper's Farm, we are developing a charcoal volunteer team to assist with the production of Wild East Devon Nature Reserve Charcoal.
Working with the staff team Rangers, the aim for the volunteers will be to increase the production of our charcoal by helping with all aspects of the burn including:
- Packing the retort
- Lighting the burn
- Keeping the fires stoked and supervising the rise to 500 degrees Celsius
- Developing the burn
- Closing up at the end of the day
- Bagging up the day after
We do up to 2 burns a week, each taking one full day. Volunteers are asked for one day of help once a week, but we are grateful for whatever time you can donate, whether it is more or less.
Volunteers have the opportunity to develop new practical skills and an understanding of habitat management techniques. No previous experience is necessary, all volunteers are offered first aid training and there are plenty of social events throughout the year. Booking is via the online volunteer portal.
All of the volunteers are offered training including first aid and there are plenty of social events throughout the year.
Please contact the Wild East Devon team for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01395 517557
During this January lockdown there's no volunteering taking place on our sites but we are looking for new charcoal volunteers to start as soon as possible. If you're interested in volunteering, please fill out this form here and you will be added to our waiting list.