Foreword by Carol Cooper, Chairman
This year has been the last year of the current 3 year volunteer programme, funded through Heritage Lottery and led by Carrie Hallam, strongly supported by the rest of the staff and contractors. It has been a great success and has led to a tremendous range of improvements to our access infrastructure including several new footbridges, hundreds of steps, benches, boardwalks and handrails. It has also led to new friendships being formed by the many
local people who have volunteered and the mark of its success is that small groups of these have begun to organise their own days out, outside of the main volunteer programme. To all of the people who have volunteered, a big thank you from myself, the rest of the Trustees and staff. Your enthusiasm, dedication, hard work and sense of humour is highly valued. I am pleased to report that Trustees have decided to carry on the volunteer project as a core
part of its work.
We have had an increasing number of very positive comments from both local people and visitors, that this hard work is paying off as more people explore our fabulous sites and learn about their rich history and biodiversity. As I write I am also pleased to report that the Trust has won considerable funding from the Big Lottery in partnership with many local organisations for a ‘Telford Access to Nature Partnership’ to further improve access for all throughout many areas of Telford.
The Trust continues to move forward with its plans for a new highly sustainable office and base for its volunteer programme on land which we manage off Darby Road in Coalbrookdale. We hope that this will allow the staff base to be at the heart of our landholding, close to some of the highest quality meadows for nature conservation in the whole of Shropshire.
This year also saw the departure of Chris Wenlock, as Countryside Projects Manager after over 11 years with the Trust, to pastures new in the North East and we thank him for his hard work.
Finally, no Trust can manage without a sound financial system and this year we have introduced new software which has made our financial management even more efficient. Once again I would like to thank staff, Trustees and Partners for all their hard work and support over the year.