By Jenny, tenant volunteer.

Volunteering with Red Kite means I get access to all the amazing community projects they help to fund.

I currently volunteer on the Starting Blocks panel and it’s a great opportunity to watch ideas come to life.

Recently we agreed to fund a Chiltern Rangers project – Family Forest Rangers School. The project is all about helping the local community learn more about all the natural treasures we have around us.

Chiltern Rangers held three events over the summer, spread out over a few weeks: Woodland Adventurer, Nature Explorer, and River Explorer. These fantastic family days out were all free for anyone in the community to attend and I was lucky enough to be able to go along to the River Explorer day with my son Tyler – the perfect day out during school holidays!

The day was absolutely wonderful, and Tyler and I had a great time. Projects like this are brilliant as they give people a chance to get out of the house and do something they wouldn’t normally do – for free!

The day started with a trip to the Chiltern Rangers depot to get our wellies and waders on, then we headed over to the river.

Jo, our lead ranger for the day, spoke about river safety and gave us all a rundown on exactly what we’d be up to.

We then all got stuck in and went straight into the river to search for all sorts of creatures. Using Chiltern Rangers’ handy guides, we were able to identify everything we found, such as a Bullhead, a fish also known as The Miller’s Thumb, caddis fly and mayfly larvae, and lots of freshwater shrimp.

After an hour or so of exploring, we stopped for a cup of tea and a biscuit before heading back out into the river to find more creatures and do some litter picking.

We then headed over to the other side of the river to do some woodland arts and crafts - we coloured, made toy boats, clay sculptures and more!

Tyler and I would certainly join in with this again, I’m so glad Red Kite are able to help bring projects like this to life!

A collage of pictures showing a Red Kite volunteer and her son enjoying a day with Chiltern Rangers