On Friday 5th June the BTCV (previously British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a special event at The Lost Gardens of Heligan.
On Friday 5th June the BTCV (previously British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a special event at The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Over one hundred volunteers and staff from across Cornwall and Devon will attend the event. Garden visitors will be invited to join BTCV volunteers in a variety of exciting creative workshops, celebrating the achievements, and demonstrating the role of the BTCV over the last 50 years.
The focus of the hands on workshops, taking place between 11am and 4pm, is to get people involved, perfectly displaying the ethos of the BTCV. With Bat and Bird Box Making, Willow Weaving and Green Woodwork workshops on offer there will be something for everyone to enjoy. All workshops are included in the garden admission price and items produced during the workshops can be taken home as a memento of this family friendly event. Maybe try your hand at weaving a willow snail or even a dragonfly to adorn your own gardens with a personal willow sculpture.
Throughout the day a Willow Family sculpture will also be created to communicate the BTCV message, which promotes the vital connections between nature and people. This will remain at Heligan as a commemoration of the great involvement BTCV had during the early restoration of the gardens in 1991 and 1992. One of Heligan's founders Tim Smit is very excited to see the BTCV back in the gardens once more.
"I am a huge fan of the BTCV as you can imagine. What was to become The Lost Gardens of Heligan was nothing more than a complete wilderness until a team from the BTCV led by the excellent Mr George Crumpler arrived with a wonderful motley crew to start the big clearance. Quite simply without the BTCV volunteers there would have been no Lost Gardens and The Nations Favourite Garden (as voted by viewers of Gardeners World) would have remained silent, undiscovered and would have robbed millions of the pleasure that it has given them."
When the Council for Nature first set up the charity in 1959, Brigadier Armstrong headed the organisation, which since its inception has grown in strength whilst maintaining a flexible attitude to the changing natural and social environments in which it works. The scale and aims of BTCV have expanded, yet remain closely connected to the charity's original vision which today highlights the importance of working towards creating a better environment where people are valued, included and involved. This focus was demonstrated during the time the BTCV spent restoring The Lost Gardens and Tim Smit is full of admiration for their work.
"The professionalism and enthusiasm of this volunteer crew is legendary and, as BTCV reaches its 50th year it should be deeply proud. It has changed landscapes, it has provided respite for broken hearts and frustrated souls, it has provided purpose to the aimless and a darned good time to those who simply wanted to "get down and dirty" doing something practical in a new environment. Most importantly, the BTCV has played a huge part in the lives of many people teaching the simple truth of our connection to and dependence on the environment - a message whose truth and urgency has never been more needed than now. So...as we celebrate 50 years we should lift a glass to all those people whose comradeship and good heart have transformed so many places and lives for the better. Congratulations and may you go from strength to strength - we salute you."