As any gardener knows, green spaces don’t look after themselves.
Grass needs cutting, weeds need pulling out, and overgrown plants need chopping back.
So next time you’re strolling around Kiveton Community Woodland, spare a thought for the people who look after it.
They are the volunteers who give up their time for free to make sure the rest of us can enjoy it.
Sheila Moor, 62, of Osborne Road, Kiveton, lives just across the road from the woodland and has been volunteering for eight months.
She said: “I think it’s great to be able to help out somewhere where we walk every day.”
“I get satisfaction out of how good it looks.”
Her neighbour Margaret Lister, 68, of Latimer Close, said it was a social thing to do as well.
“They are such a grand crowd, I really enjoy it. We’ve been here in all weathers, there’s always something to do.”
“We are so proud of what we have got here.”
The volunteers are led by Hannah Darcel, community ranger with the Forestry Commission, which manages the site.
It is owned by the Land Trust, which has around 40 sites in the region.
Hannah, of Shireoaks, said: “Kiveton has just been given the gold award for best overall site in this area, which is great.”
The volunteer group was set up last year and meets every fortnight.
Hannah decides on the tasks they wil be doing and brings along any equipment needed.
“Getting the volunteers in is about encouraging the local community,” she said.
“Lots of things on this site would not get done wihout them.”
Work that has been done by volunteers includes creating a willow dome and tunnel in the nature reserve area.
They have also removed tree guards and repaired fences, as well as picking up litter and generally tidying up overgrown areas.
Chris Evason, 43, of Falcon Way, Dinnington, was recently made unemployed.
He said: “I want to keep busy and was looking online for something to do and saw this.”
“We usually spend about three hours here and there’s a real sense of achievement when we’ve finished.”
Retired Michael Hargreaves, 69, travels from his home in Atlas Street, Brinsworth, to join in.
He said: “I enjoy the company and Hannah is really good, she organises everything well and gives us simple jobs to do.”
“We all get on well and I enjoy being outdoors, even through the winter.”
Steve Brown, 60, of Broom, is also retired. He said: “It’s a bit of exercise and it keeps me active, and it’s only six hours a month so it doesn’t take up too much of my time.”
For more information on volunteering at Kiveton call Hannah on 07789 942599.