How a group of intrepid volunteers helped create our stand for the Countryfile Live event...
It all began back in February at Hope Farm with five volunteers briefed and ready to start building our main event feature for the stand, which came to be lovingly referred to as the TARDIS! This year it was a hexagonal structure that could display large, stunning habitat images with an area in front for associated planting. Piece of cake! (Well doughnuts are actually the volunteers’ preference.)
Working in a barn, the volunteers set about using anything stored from previous years that could be recycled – from wood for the structure to polystyrene packaging for a dry stone wall.
Once built and tested, the structure had to be dismantled and moved to another barn so it wasn’t in the way during Open Farm Sunday. On the Friday before the show volunteers and staff loaded up the lorry bound for Blenheim Palace.
There were only two days to build and arrange everything in the marquee for the show. Both volunteers and staff put in long hours getting it finished. This year temperatures rose to 27 degrees centigrade making it that much tougher, but the result was quite something. Six habitats, family activities, recruitment and pin badge areas and a shop!
During the show days we had many volunteers, again working long hours, assisting with the Wild Challenge family activities (mini beast hotels, upcycled bug bottles and little tern flappers) and pin badge sales. Always eager to welcome visitors to our stand and help the children make their first mini beast hotel, even though it may have been their thirty-second one!
Thanks to volunteer support, during the four show days, we made just over £800 on pin badges, 183 new memberships and nearly 400 children took part in our Wild Challenge activities. But the work didn’t stop there! When the last visitor left the show it was time to start breaking down the stand, load the lorry and head back home for a well-earned cup of tea (and maybe one last doughnut!)
To all our volunteers that played a role in making this event possible, we really can’t say a big enough thank you!