Engaging Environments & Earthwatch: being active in nature

Soft focus image of two people in a green field

Green space work as a labour of love. The fourth post in a blog series about the Engaging Environments project in Birmingham written by our former Community Engagement Officer, Rob Tilling.

It is very clear why Jackie* attends our green space work sessions; she loves to labour. Being a volunteer on other organised work projects across the city, Jackie came to us to work. Typically, she will look towards taking on the most labour-intensive role at any session. This may involve barrowing and lifting, digging and mattocking or just endurance. No matter what though, she will always look for a taxing job.

Upon arrival at a session, Jackie will simply request “you just tell me what to do” and after a brief explanation she will work independently for long periods. Having much experience in the green space work we carry out, she could make many decisions herself, but she always waits to be instructed.

Jackie’s drive is apparently quite different from other volunteers’, but she does enjoy being with other people. She is a respected and valued member of the local volunteer work community and her absence at work sessions would not go unnoticed.

When work requires more dexterity, technical skill, socializing or being run, Jackie tends not to attend. She is very clear that she is coming to work and that she wants to be worked hard during these sessions.

*name has been changed to protect anonymity