Archive for September, 2014

Drum roll please….

Our volunteer hours and stats for the year September 2013 to August 2014 were announced on Saturday, during our AGM. The results are always impressive – lots of hard work translates into a huge number of volunteer hours for the National Trust.

Figures are from 1st Sept 2013 to 31st Aug 2014:

  • total volunteer hours 3,068.75
  • 73 people volunteered with the group
  • we arranged 66  workdays at 15 different National Trust properties
  • average number of volunteers per workday  9

Where did we spend our time? The top 3 sites measured by hours worked are as follows:

  • Dudmaston (gardens and woodland)
  • Wenlock Edge
  • Morville Hall

Matt Hinton topped the hours chart again this year with 310.75hours. He isn’t a man, he’s a machine! A volunteering machine! Well done Matt.

We also have a “top 100”. This lists the total hours volunteered by the top 100 group members since the group began in 1980. Just for fun, have a guess at how many hours the group have worked in total (answer at the end of this post).

Congratulations to our volunteers who earned National Trust Long Service Awards during this past year.

20 year award – Peter Orme
15 year award –Helen Payne, Ann Dalgleish
10 year award – Tom Freeland, Jen Davison, Laura Harrison, Sheila Smallwood, Rachel Freeland, Neil Semple
5 year award – Gill Amias, Ben Nash, Jackie Semple, Avril Simpson

They will receive their awards at a special event later this year.

A big thank you to all who contributed volunteer hours and to those who do committee work and workday leading, ensuring that the group continues to flourish.


If you’d like to add a few volunteer hours to next year’s total, why not join us for a workday? Our current list of workdays can be found on our EVENTS page. Pick a day and CONTACT US. Let’s make the coming year a bigger and better success.


(answer: 58,638 hours – wow!)

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Wightwick Workday

Sunday, September 21st, 10.15am. SSNTV meet in the car park at Wightwick Manor. The mission: a drastic “haircut” for the laurel hedge.

This is just the kind of large scale chopping that the group enjoy and we set to work with enthusiasm. There was barely time for gardener, Dan, to change his mind and opt for “a light trim”! Hopefully you can see from the photographs that the laurel hedge, which had been 8ft high, was reduced to 4-5ft. This job was long overdue. The outcome does look a little dramatic, but the laurel will benefit and show significant improvement during the next growing season.

...before, during and after....

…before, during and after….

Thank you to Dan. and all at Wightwick Manor, including the lovely people in Visitor Reception who supplied us with tea and biscuits. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, better work or a better location. We are looking forward to our next visit already.

PicMonkey Collage2

If you’d like to join us on a workday, we work every Sunday at different National Trust locations across the West Midlands. Pick a workday from our EVENTS page and CONTACT US. See you soon!

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AGM 2014

Our Chairman wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t remind you that our AGM is being held on Saturday 27th September at Wightwick Manor.

The AGM is a necessary evil, so we aim to keep the boring bit to a minimum and then escape to the pub!

The AGM begins at 7.30pm, parking is in the stable yard and the meeting is upstairs in the Old Manor (above the shop).

Don’t forget, the AGM is your chance to influence the future of the group. Please feel free to contribute…but keep it short and sweet!


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Wenlock Edge: new season

Returning to Wenlock Edge after a summer absence always signals the end of summer and the move into a new season. It did feel odd to be thinking that way yesterday as the sun was shining, the temperature was 22C and we wore sunhats! Don’t panic, it is still summer. It’s just that we have started work with an autumn/winter feel. This usually involves cutting trees and having bonfires. We know from experience that we will start September with suncream and end the month thinking about digging out warmer clothes…it’s pre-autumn!

We had a really good workday at Wenlock yesterday. The worksite was perfect: dry underfoot, easy access, amazing views. We were joined by two new volunteers (hello Sara and Oliver!). The work involved cutting back the treeline which was encroaching on a neighbouring field.

The photographs answer a few questions we are often asked about our workdays.

Did we have cake? yes we did. Lots of cake in the tin at the start of the day…lots of cake in the people at the end of the day.

Was there a bonfire? yes, we had two!

How good was the site? see for yourself.

Was the weather nice? blue skies and sunshine. perfect.

pic collage wenlock 31 aug


note: although we haven’t been working at Wenlock Edge, we have been busy during the summer at Dudmaston, Shugborough, Sunnycroft, Benthall and Biddulph. We’ve also had a working week at Cragside. If you’d like to join us, please find our current programme on our EVENTS page. Get in touch via our CONTACTS page or find us on Facebook.


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