Take part in microvolunteering this spring!

Tom Whalley from our Community Paths team shares some top tips for microvolunteering this spring

As we come into spring and summer you may notice your favourite paths becoming overgrown by branches from trees and bushes. While you should leave larger jobs to your local community paths group, or the council, anyone can get stuck in and trim a few small branches or brambles that are growing across paths and causing an obstruction.

Before you start you, must make sure to check that you aren’t disturbing nesting birds. You should also only carry out these tasks in places where you know you won't be upsetting people who own or manage the land​.

Make sure you’re wearing gloves and use your secateurs to snip the branch as close to the node as possible. The secateurs should be opened wide and the branch placed at the centre of the blade – don’t be tempted to snip with the tip of the blade as this can bend and warp the secateurs. If the branch is too large for your secateurs you will need to use a different tool (such as loppers) or leave the job to someone else.

Now that you’re left holding a branch or two what should you do with them?  Well, why not do something for nature and also give your wellbeing a boost. Using your secateurs snip the branches into manageable lengths and arrange them in a bundle together lengthwise. Now find somewhere on the ground, off the path and out of the way, to place the branches. You’ve not just got rid of the waste material – you’ve created “habitat pile”, a valuable home for wee beasties. Research from the University of Derby shows that one of the five pathways to nature connection is ‘compassion’.  You’ve not only created something for wildlife, but you probably feel pretty good about it too.

There are many other small tasks you can do to help maintain your local paths and to connect with nature. 

Take a look at our new animation to get some inspiration.

Explore more top tips about microvolunteering here or in our 2023 blog post here.

Get involed in International Microvolunteering Day, an international celebration and awareness day, taking place each year by running an event, sharing content, or taking small actions to look after your local environment.