Gary Mason, Community Ranger

Hi, my name is Gary Mason. I’ve been lucky enough to work at Nene Park Trust for the last two decades. Over the last five or so years I have held the post of Community Ranger and I thoroughly enjoy this varied and exciting role. A large part of my role involves working alongside Nene Park’s wonderful volunteer community.

Volunteering started at Nene Park back in the autumn of 2011. When the Park first advertised for volunteers we waited for the community of Peterborough to respond. Would anybody want to volunteer? Would they enjoy the volunteering opportunities we could offer? Would our new volunteers enjoy their time enough to come back the following week?

Our fears were soon dispelled. The small group of new Conservation Volunteers loved their sessions; coppicing hazel, planting trees, sowing wildflower seeds, weeding and mulching the Park’s welcome areas.

Since those first sessions, Nene Park has welcomed hundreds of volunteers, each bringing their own unique reason for giving up their time to help look after the much-loved Park. Currently we have over 150 volunteers who are involved in all aspects of the work here at Nene Park. In 2013 we added corporate volunteering days to our offer, allowing the Trust to reach a wider and more diverse audience from right across Peterborough and the region beyond.

Since those early days, volunteering and volunteer roles have continued to expand with interesting new opportunities being added all the time. Currently we have sixteen volunteer roles including Longthorpe Tower Guides, Photography and Audio recording volunteers, Wildlife Survey volunteers and Visitor Rangers, alongside the Young Ranger sessions, Corporate volunteers, volunteering for young people looking for work or education opportunities, and community volunteering days, to name but a few.

Here’s what our volunteers have said about supporting the Park, and what keeps them coming back week after week, year after year:

“I love giving back through volunteering and seeing what can be achieved in a couple of hours”.

“I really enjoy all aspects of volunteering, it’s the highlight of my week”.

“I moved to Peterborough and wanted to meet new people and get to know the city. Volunteering helped me make new friends in Peterborough and we are very lucky to have Ferry Meadows”.

“Volunteering in the Visitor Centre has given me my old confidence back. I really feel part of the team”.

Volunteering remains fundamental to all Nene Park’s operations, and we are extremely grateful to all our volunteers past and present. As Nene Park Trust grows as an organisation, it will be exciting to see how volunteering evolves and grows too, and we welcome new volunteers to the Team.

If you're interested in finding out more and joining our Volunteer programme, Take a look at our current volunteering opportunities