A GROUP of volunteers with the North York Moors National Park Authority have swapped their old clothes and muddy boots for cleaner clothes to celebrate their 10th anniversary.
The Hobs, named after the mythical creatures that supposedly live in the National Park and help with household chores and farm work, got together for a meal to commemorate a decade of hard work looking after the rights of way and wildlife of the National Park.
Three of the current group – Alan Bailey, Eric Lee and Vera Silberberg – attended the very first task for the group and are still turning out in all weather every Tuesday to do their bit for the North York Moors.
Tasks include footpath clearance, drystone walling, tree planting, fence repair and invasive plant control.
The Hobs was the first mid-week volunteer group set up by the National Park Authority.
There are now several regular volunteer groups contributing around 11,000 hours of work each year and the volunteer service was highlighted as an area of good practice in a recent peer review carried out by a team from other National Park Authorities.
Volunteer and Hobs founding member Alan Bailey, said: “I saw an article regarding starting a volunteers group at around the time that I was about to retire and the idea appealed to me. My wife and I were, and still are keen, walkers particularly within the National Park and it seemed a positive way of putting something back and saying thanks.
“Being a Hob brings with it a strong sense of purpose, loyalty, commitment and endeavour. We head out in all weathers – and there does seem to be more wet Tuesdays than dry – but morale remains high and there is always a great effort put into every task and a desire to complete it before we leave.”
Graham Stubbs, Head of the Volunteer Service at the National Park Authority, added: “Anyone who enjoys getting out and about in the North York Moors whether it’s to walk, cycle, ride or simply to soak up the stunning scenery, owes a word of thanks to this wonderful group of people who give their time and energy so generously. Without them and all our other volunteers the National Park wouldn’t be half the place it is and I am incredibly proud and grateful for all that they do.”
To find out more about volunteering with the National Park Authority, contact Jo Dowson on 01439 770657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org