Earlier this month we headed down to Chairborough Local Nature Reserve to find out more about the fantastic work of one of our partners, Chiltern Rangers.

Working with communities to provide practical habitat management of the woodlands, chalk grassland, commons, ponds and chalk streams, Chiltern Rangers achieve this with the help of dedicated and hard-working volunteers.

Our morning of volunteering with them involved litter picking, cutting back foliage and building a fire to clear the dead wood. We learnt about fire safety and how it's an important part of the conservation work they're doing in this area.

When trees and cuttings are left to rot, they put extra nutrients into the ground and risk tipping the level high enough to threaten the chalk grass and allow the nettles to take over. This meant our team focussed on clearing a big patch of dead wood and then took turns to use the loppers or the saw to cut them down to size ready to go on the fire.

After a couple of hours the rangers stopped for a hot drink and a biscuit. It was great having this time to speak to more of the local volunteers, and listen to the red kites soaring over our heads.

We were soon back to work and the weather really started to pour with rain. We worked hard to finish clearing the site in time for a 1pm lunch, taking shelter in the van.

It was a brilliant day, even with the rain.

If you'd like to get involved, they have exciting and rewarding opportunities for all ages and experience. Visit the Chiltern Rangers website for more information.

Volunteering with the Chiltern Rangers fire