Group Activities

Group Activities

WildNet - Zsuzsanna Bird

Volunteering with a difference

Our group activities offer a unique behind the scenes glimpse of Rutland Water Nature Reserve and its wildlife, and are a brilliant way for your group or organisation to enjoy a day out with a difference. We offer a range of activities, from practical conservation tasks such as dry stone walling and tree planting to garden willow weaving, nest box building and stick dressing. All of the activities are suitable for a range of ages and abilities. No previous skills or knowledge are required as our enthusiastic team of experienced staff and volunteers will be there guide you through the activity. Your day can be tailored to your groups interests and requirements and some activities can be combined with guided walks, talks or the hire of our facilities so you can really make the most of your time here.

Find out more below!

For more information and to book an activity, contact our Volunteering and Events Coordinator on volunteering@lrwt.org.uk

 

Hazel Coppice Planting

Dates: February - March

In addition to the areas of plantation woodland on the nature reserve itself, we manage three areas of ancient woodland around the nature reserve: Barnsdale, Armley and Hambleton Woods. From time to time the woodland needs a boost to aid tree regeneration and help keep the woodland system healthy. This activity will involve the planting of around 500 saplings over the course of the day, and the fixing of stakes and tubes to protect the young trees from browsing by mice, voles, rabbits and deer. The tree species have been specially selected to compliment the existing woodland and maximise its value for biodiversity.

Your group will be led by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust’s expert staff and volunteers, who will provide all the training and equipment you need, and an introduction to some of our native wildlife and tree species.

This activity requires a good level of fitness – work will be undertaken on uneven ground within and established woodland. Participants must dress appropriately for a day of outdoor activity, bearing in mind the time of year and the day’s weather forecast, and ensure we are aware of any health or mobility problems in advance. Walking boots and a waterproof coat are essential. We will provide all tools and PPE. Participants should bring a packed lunch, and plenty to drink. Your team will be eating out on the reserve so we would advise picnic type food.

This activity is suitable for a group of 6-8 people and will cost £700.00.
We have two slots available, so book early to avoid disappointment. 

Tree Planting

Dates: February - March

This activity will involve the planting of around 500 saplings over the course of the day, and the fixing of stakes and tubes to protect the young trees from browsing by mice, voles, rabbits and deer. The tree species have been specially selected to compliment the existing woodland and maximise its value for biodiversity.

Your group will be led by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust’s expert staff and volunteers, who will provide all the training and equipment you need, and an introduction to some of our native wildlife and tree species.

This activity requires a good level of fitness – work will be undertaken on uneven ground within and established woodland. Participants must dress appropriately for a day of outdoor activity, bearing in mind the time of year and the day’s weather forecast, and ensure we are aware of any health or mobility problems in advance. Walking boots and a waterproof coat are essential. We will provide all tools and PPE. Participants should bring a packed lunch, and plenty to drink. Your team will be eating out on the reserve so we would advise picnic type food.

This activity is suitable for a group of 10-12 people and will cost £700.00.
We have two slots available, so book early to avoid disappointment. 

Stick dressing

Dates: All year round

Stick dressing is the craft of making and decorating walking sticks to aid mobility or working sticks/crooks as tools. This craft has developed from its original practical purpose into an art. The handle of the stick is fashioned into whatever takes your imagination. During the course of the session you will prepare and decorate your own walking stick. Sticks and all tools will be provided, along with the expert tuition you will need to create your masterpiece. This activity requires a good level of manual dexterity. Participants should bring a packed lunch, and plenty to drink.

This activity will be led by the expert team from Rutland Willows. Your team will meet at the Volunteer Training Centre at 9:15 for a 9:30 start. The day will finish at approximately 3:30pm.

Prices start at £700.00 for a group of up to eight people.

Willow Weaving

Dates: All year round

Weaving of willow and other natural materials is a craft that has been undertaken for thousands of years, traditionally for baskets and other household items as well as sheep hurdles, garden supports and fencing. Today, willow weaving is as much of an art as it is functional, and due to the pliability and durability of willow it can be woven in to all sorts of forms. During the session you will learn to weave your own artwork from sustainably sourced coppice willow. You can either work individually to create a small willow creature such as a pheasant or dragonfly, or work together to create a larger piece of family or corporate art. At the end of the day you get to keep your creations. These sessions can be relaxed, or structured as a team building exercise.

This activity requires manual dexterity. We will provide all materials, tools and PPE. Participants should bring a packed lunch, and plenty to drink.

This activity will be led by the expert team from Rutland Willows at the Volunteer Training Centre. Times can be arranged to suit your group, with a taster session ranging from one hour to six hours; however to really get to grips with willow weaving we recommend a full day (9:30-3:30), or two day course.

Prices start at £700.00 for a group of up to eight people.

Hedgelaying Experience

Dates: November to March

Hedgelaying is a heritage skill which has been practised for hundreds of years and is one of many techniques which can be used to manage hedgerows. A well-managed hedgerow is thick and bushy and creates an impenetrable barrier to sheep and cattle, whilst at the same time providing a refuge for wildlife as nesting habitat, shelter and a food source. Left unmanaged, gaps will form in the hedge as it grows upwards and outwards, eventually becoming a line of trees; hedgelaying prevents this. During the course of the day you will practice the traditional craft of laying a hedge midlands style. Cut stems are bent over at an angle and secured with stakes and binders to promote regrowth at the base of the hedge. This keeps the hedge thick and healthy, and looks beautiful too!

This activity requires a good level of fitness and your team would be outside all day. Participants must dress appropriately for a day of outdoor activity, bearing in mind the time of year and the days weather forecast, and ensure we are aware of any health or mobility problems in advance. Walking boots and a waterproof coat are essential. We will provide all tools and PPE. Participants should bring a packed lunch, and plenty to drink. Your team will be eating out on the reserve so we would advise picnic type food.

This activity will be led by the expert team from Rutland Willows. Your team will meet at the Volunteer Training Centre at 9:15 for a 9:30 start. The day will finish at approximately 3:30pm.

Prices start at £700.00 for a group of up to eight people.

Dry Stone Walling Experience

Dates: April - October

Dry stone walling in Britain dates back to the Iron Age, and is a heritage skill still used today. Dry stone walls, built without any mortar or cement, are common around Britain and most often used as boundaries of small fields containing livestock. Dry stone walls also have a high environmental value as they are made of natural materials and are a fantastic habitat and shelter for a wide range of species. During the course of the day you will learn how to dismantle and rebuild a section of dry stone wall to get a feel for the techniques and skill involved. This activity requires heavy lifting and your team would be outside all day. Participants must dress appropriately for a day of outdoor activity, bearing in mind the time of year and the days weather forecast, and ensure we are aware of any health or mobility problems in advance. Walking boots and a waterproof coat are essential. We will provide all tools and PPE. Participants should bring a packed lunch, and plenty to drink. Your team will be eating out on the reserve so we would advise picnic type food.

This activity will be led by the expert team from Rutland Willows. Your team will meet at the Volunteer Training Centre at 9:15 for a 9:30 start. The day will finish at approximately 3:30pm.

Prices start at £700.00 for a group of up to eight people.

Accommodation

If you are visiting Rutland Water Nature Reserve for one of our two-day courses and need somewhere to stay, the Volunteer Training Centre (VTC) can provide a simple yet comfortable night’s sleep on a budget, in a beautiful setting. The VTC sleeps up to eight people in our two bunk rooms. You may have to share your room with up to three other people (this will be single sex whenever possible); there are four single bunk beds per room. The rooms have been designed to provide basic overnight accommodation for Rutland Water Nature Reserve; you must provide your own duvet and pillow, bed linen, towels, toiletries, food and drink. A fridge, freezer, basic kitchen utensils, cutlery and crockery are provided as well as tea, coffee and milk. The ground floor of the building is fully accessible, complete with accessible toilet and wet room. There are two separate shower rooms for guests.

There is a charge of £15.00 per person, per night payable at the time of booking.

You can check in any time after 3pm on the day of your course. Check out time is 10am. You will be met on arrival by a member of the VTC team who will allocate you your bunk, locker and keys. You are welcome to leave the site in the evening, but please be aware that the gates to the car park, and the building itself will be locked by 11pm.

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Matthew Roberts