Who are we?
Harlow Conservation Volunteers (HCV) is a group of volunteers who work for
nature conservation in and around Harlow. Our aim is to improve the environment
for wildlife, nature conservation, and recreation and to improve public access
to the countryside.
HCV was founded in 1985 with the assistance of
Harlow District Council and the
Trust for Conservation Volunteers). We are affiliated to BTCV.
The group is also affiliated to the
Harlow Centre for Voluntary Support, who
have kindly provided space for our pages on their web site.
What do we do?
We do many conservation and management tasks including:
- Managing trees, woodlands and hedgerows
- Clearing streams and ponds
- Reed bed, meadow, and heathland management
- Building fences and hides
- Improving and maintaining footpaths.
Of course, the tasks we do depend on the time of year. During the autumn and
winter work includes coppicing, pollarding, hedge-laying, and tree planting.
During the spring and summer we do wild flower planting, scrub control,
build bridges, steps, and boardwalks, and even make charcoal.
We work primarily on nature reserves and public open spaces, but also
occasionally on privately owned land.
To get a better idea of what we do, have a look at the photo gallery.
To find out more about the sites we work on go to the sites section.
Tasks are usually arranged every fortnight on a Sunday. They last the entire
day but your help will be valued for whatever time you can spare.
The task leader will give you training in work techniques and safety. We provide
appropriate tools, protective gear, and materials. The work is
enjoyable and we have regular breaks for tea and a chat!
You will learn new skills and meet people willing to share their knowledge.
You will see new places and make a very important contribution towards
the conservation of our natural heritage. Hopefully, you will also have some fun
and make new friends.
The group has third party liability insurance for volunteers on task.
Who can help?
The group involves people of all ages in its practical work. However, if
you are under 12 years old, please bring an adult. No prior experience is
What you will need
Please bring warm clothes, boots or wellies, and waterproofs. Tea and
coffee are provided but you will need a mug and a packed lunch.
The group meets on site, and directions can be found in the task
sent regularly to all volunteers. Many of the tasks are within a short cycle
ride of much of Harlow.
New volunteers are always welcome.
The group has regular evening meetings to discuss future work which all
volunteers may attend. Tasks are quite sociable in themselves, but occasional
social get-togethers are arranged such as a barbecue, a walk, or Christmas lunch.
Whom We Work For
We mainly work for public bodies and wildlife charities. The group is
involved with a number of regular sites and projects, including
Parndon Wood Nature Reserve
which is owned and managed by Harlow District Council.
We do also carry out some conservation work for private landowners.
We welcome enquiries about potential new projects.
The group's main expertise is getting practical work done with volunteers. Although we
may be able to help, conservation advice is best sought from Harlow's
WildSpace! Officer for Harlow district, or
from Essex Wildlife Trust for elsewhere in Essex.
Working With Other Bodies
HCV takes part in the
Harlow Biodiversity partnership,
which is intended to be a
partnership between Harlow District Council and local conservation
organizations and volunteers. An important aim is to produce a Biodiversity
HCV does not engage in political activity.