Frank’s first ever protest march - aged over 50 - was the memorable Hands Off Our Forest gathering at Speech House, in a snowstorm, to save the Forest from being sold off. Frank suspects that this kick started his feeling of wanting to get involved and make a difference.
Frank initially volunteered for the Foresters’ Forest Community Stakeholder Board as a representative for both West Dean Parish Council, and also Lucozade Ribena Suntory. “The bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund was a fantastic initiative, and I could see the potential and wanted to contribute.” Said Frank. Later he also had the chance to also join the Foresters’ Forest Programme Board and has remained on both ever since.
Frank has been involved in a variety of volunteering. The Love Your Forest project and its Litter Picks have been regular activities for him, but he has also taken part in bat surveys and numerous public events to help promote and recruit volunteers. “I’ve particularly enjoyed helping maintain (and move) the Trash Converter – which is a very heavy horse-box!” Said Frank. He finds litter picking is good for the soul and thoroughly enjoys doing it.
“We have had some really good (and fun) events at the Speech House in particular, but have had a presence at many local shows. I usually take my litter picker and a Foresters’ Forest ‘High Viz’ as it’s a good way to get around the event and speak to potential volunteers. Strangely, very few people drop litter while I am approaching armed with a litter picker!” Frank said.
Along the way, Frank feels that he has learned a great deal about the Forest and its history from the various projects. “I enjoy taking part and helping to preserve and protect the wonderful Forest and using my various local networking opportunities to promote awareness of all that Foresters’ Forest has and is doing.” He said. Frank thinks that the number of volunteer hours racked up during the Foresters’ Forest programme is truly inspirational (over 10,000 hours so far). “We have an excellent full time team and a huge band of keen volunteers, all from very diverse and interesting backgrounds and I have made many new friends.” Frank said.
Invariably, even when not volunteering Frank will be seen out and about wearing his Foresters’ Forest shirt with pride!
You might be surprised what you find!
From creating habitats for our wildlife or improving our waterways, to recording oral histories or finding old photos, there’s always something going on to get involved in!