Flying the flag for Volunteers’ Week 2023 – Our volunteering experiences
6 June 2023
It’s National Volunteers’ Week, a week that takes place every year on 1st – 7th June to celebrate and raise awareness of volunteering across the country. This week, we’d like to highlight some of the great volunteering work that some of our Woodrow House team do outside of the association!
First up we have our Education Manager, Shell, who volunteers for Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust ‘Froglife’.
Who do you volunteer for?
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust ‘Froglife’. Froglife is a national wildlife conservation charity concerned with the conservation of the UK’s reptile and amphibian species and their associated habitats. I volunteer during the toad migration season as a road patroller. We essentially help toads, frogs and newts cross the road at specific registered migratory road crossings so they can make their way safely to breed at their ancestral breeding ponds!
Why did you decide to volunteer for Froglife?
One very wet evening a few years ago, I drove through one of the road crossings and was shocked at the carpet of toads everywhere in the road with volunteers frantically trying to save as many as they possibly could. Seeing so many squashed on the road was quite distressing, so I thought I would find out more and offer my help. At the time I didn’t know much about toad migration and so I did a bit of research and contacted my local group in the Forest of Dean to find out more, and it went from there. I now volunteer each migration season.
What’s your general involvement as a volunteer?
We head out at dusk at the beginning of the season, which is around mid-February armed with a bucket, torch, and wet weather gear (prime conditions for movement is mild and wet!). We then walk up and down the road collecting toads, frogs, and newts in our buckets, and once we have a fair amount in our bucket, we walk to the pond to release them to go about their ‘business’! I normally do a few trips to the pond on an evening, so I spend a few hours out – depending on how busy a night it is and how many volunteers there are. As the season progresses, they will then leave the pond and head back home, so we then have to help them back across the road in the opposite direction.
How do you fit your volunteering into everyday life?
Toads only move at night, so it’s easy to fit it in after work. The volunteers are on a rota, so we don’t go out every night. I normally do 3 nights a week during the season, which runs from mid-February until mid-April.
What’s one thing you would say to someone who is thinking of becoming a volunteer?
Do it!! For me, it’s really rewarding knowing I’m having a positive impact on the protection of local wildlife. It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people, and to get outdoors with nature.
You can find out more about some of our other Woodrow House team on our YouTube channel –
Lizzie, Scientific Content Editor – Volunteering for Tewkesbury Nature Reserve. Watch her full interview here.
Bernard, Head of Membership and Marketing – Volunteering for Cirencester Cricket Club. Watch his full interview here.
Jennie, Education Coordinator – Volunteering for Friends of Longford Park Primary Academy. Watch her full interview here.
For more information on how to become a volunteer with us at the BSAVA, have a look at our volunteer opportunities page.