Air Cadets from 126 (City of Derby) Squadron have spent a weekend working for the National Trust at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. The cadets were working with the National Trust as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.
126 Squadron has been assisting the National Trust team at Hardwick for the last eight years. Every year, they give up their free time to support forest management activities on the Hardwick Estate. The volunteer work that the Cadets complete counts towards the Service Section of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.
This year, the Cadets were responsible for clearing hazel in a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) on the Hardwick estate. The SSSI has been identified due to the existence of a rare beetle called the Deadwood Beetle. The cadets cut down the hazel trees, stacked logs and burnt some of the smaller branches.
The twenty Cadets worked extremely hard to support the National Trust. They split into three teams to get the work finished as quickly as possible. The National Trust Wardens were on hand to show the Cadets how to light and manage a perfect woodland fire. They also showed the Cadets how to build a woodland shelter. The Wardens were highly impressed with the teamwork and motivation of the Cadets and rate them as the best volunteer group that they work with during the year.
All Cadets enjoyed their weekend at Hardwick. It is an opportunity for inner city Cadets to help with conservation in the local area and learn about the plants and animals that will benefit from the work they are doing.
Flying Officer Jackie Glover, Training Officer at 126 Squadron said, “The Cadets did a really good job this weekend. The Cadets learnt a lot about the woodland from the Wardens that were with us and the project has inspired some of them to get more involved in conservation work in the future”.