Duncan’s story: Growing a sense of community from an empty field

I’ve been a volunteer with Colne Valley Tree Society for 15 years. After work, getting outside in the fresh air is relaxing and helps with positive mental health.

I was involved in creating a woodland in Marsden commemorating lives lost in WW1, which I thought was something really worthwhile. It was a team effort with the Secretary and Chair of the society, the Woodland Trust and the White Rose Forest. There was also a partnership with the land owner Yorkshire Water.

Colne Valley Tree Society wall plaqueAs a volunteer I wanted to create a viewing point but that was unsuccessful. The tree planting however progressed and a “Trees in Mind” group formed resulting in poetry workshops and wall plaques linking to World War One.

I had frustrations in being unable to complete the viewing point. Things like this can be complicated, time consuming and burdensome for a volunteer.

But teamwork, partnerships and helpful people, getting people on board, enthusiasm and a sense of pride all count toward a growing sense of community.

Colne Valley Tree SocietyThe Tree Society even got some kudos with some TV coverage.

The society meet and plant trees. There can be up to 30 people meeting on a Saturday.

There are successes and outcomes – from an empty field to one full of trees – it’s really satisfying. It feels marvellous.

Find out more

Colne Valley Tree Society – facebook group

Colne Valley Tree Society – blog

Find a volunteering role – TSL Kirklees Volunteering

illustrations from our workshopsThank you to Duncan for sharing this story after participating in one of our “How can more people come together to make local places better?” online workshops for Kirklees citizens.

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