The Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Volunteers

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”

Martin Luther KING, jr

I’ve been a regular volunteer for 15 years now; I started my adventures in volunteering as a charity shop window dresser when I was just 19. In the years since I’ve been a Museum Steward and Education Officer, a Foodbank Volunteer, a Play Area Representative, a runner of playgroups, and I was once an English Civil War costumed guide that went by the name of ‘Mistress Flo’! I feel very lucky to have been a stay-at-home Mum for the past few years and although we have been money poor through most of these I have been relatively time rich and that has given me the opportunity to do something for others and the freedom to delve deeper into local volunteering opportunities. This week for the first time I volunteered for the Dorset Wildlife Trust.

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The Imbolc Ritual at the ruins of Knowlton Church

You my friends, and you strangers, all of you. Stand with me a little by the walls or where the walls once were.”

Archibald MacLeish

Ah spring! It’s definitely not far away now! Snowdrops bloomed early in Dorset this year and I even spied Comfrey flowering on the school run back in early January. But despite these early sightings the weather always has its own ideas about the seasons and there was snow on the ground at Knowlton Church for Imbolc this year. I consider myself an agnostic when it comes to religion but I’ve always been intrigued by the ideas and stories of nature-centred religions with their roots in Paganism. So when I stumbled across an event posted online sharing details of an Imbolc ritual at Knowlton Church and henge the next day other plans were put aside so we could attend.

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The Podcast

Mother Earth needs us to keep our covenant. We will do this in courts, we will do this on our radio station, and we will commit to our descendants to work hard to protect this land and water for them. Whether you have feet, wings, fins, or roots, we are all in it together”

WINONA LADUKE

It is World Radio day today which feels like the perfect time to share with you a Podcast I recorded recently with Keri Jones for a local community radio programme. ‘This is Alfred’ is based in the Shaftesbury area and covers local news, events, the arts, green issues and the Dorset countryside to name just a few. When I was asked to discuss my corner of the internet with them I couldn’t wait to share all that I had experienced in this first year of blogging and my love for nature, history, and all things Dorset.

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The Wild Network – Challenge 5

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions”

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr

In mid-January I received our fifth challenge from ‘The Wild Network’. This time we were asked to create a series of vlogs focused on thinking outside of the box when it comes to our family wild time. As part of this challenge we were asked to (amongst other things) take indoor activities outside, explore new areas, and beat the barriers that keep us indoors… especially during the cold winter months!

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The Wild Network – Challenge 3 and 4

The future will belong to the nature-smart…”

Richard Louv

‘The Wild Network’ sent out their third and fourth challenges in the run up to the Christmas break. I thought this one was particularly interesting as it asked for 2 completely contrasting vlogs. The third challenge was asking us as parents to fully engage with our children’s technological worlds. While the fourth challenge focused on us getting outside more as a family over the school holiday.

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The Wild Network – Challenge 2

 So look up from your phone, shut down your displays. We have a finite existence, a set number of days” – Gary Turk

My second challenge from ‘The Wild Network’ arrived in my inbox a couple of weeks ago asking me to create a series of vlogs based around implementing a gentle digital detox in our busy family lives before taking part in a 2 day long full digital detox over the final weekend in November. As part of this challenge I was asked to, amongst other things, set timers on our devices, turn phones to airplane mode, and to not use them at the beginning or end of the day. I filmed our observations, thoughts, and feelings on these detox’s as well as all the lovely things we did instead of turning to a gadget for entertainment and went on to create the following vlogs.

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The Wild Network – Challenge 1

The danger always exists that our technology will serve as a buffer between us and nature, a block between us and the deeper dimensions of our own experience” – Rollo May

A couple of weeks ago I received my first challenge from ‘The Wild Network’ who are exploring and comparing how we use technology nowadays compared to 10 years ago and just how much we use it. For this latest project I was asked to create a series of 2 minute vlogs based around how, as a family, we use technology, and access nature on a daily basis. As part of this challenge I was asked to record how our time was divided between our activities, and even on days I thought we didn’t use a lot of technology it still took up a shocking amount of our day.

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