Not as much as you'd think!
If you're a volunteer every minute spent makes a difference, you might not see it but it all adds up.
This week is Volunteers' Week, all about celebrating the wonderful work the country's many volunteers do, across all sectors not just in the countryside. You can find out all about it here: volunteersweek.org
There are many reasons to be a volunteer:
to put something back, to help a favoured cause, to help a special site or place, to gain experience, to make new friends, to learn new skills, to get out and get active, to share your knowledge with others
These are just some of the reasons that countryside volunteers have given as to why they've given up their time.
Time is a precious resource; you can donate as much or as little you want or are able. Anything from an occasional hour or a regular day once a month to a full time placement lasting up to a year.
Volunteers are needed all year round for a wide range of activities, you can offer to check collection tins, spend an hour weeding a flowerbed, an afternoon leading a guided walk, a morning helping children discover the wonder of the natural world, a weekend pulling up invasive plants. Of course many of us made our way into our countryside careers via time spent as a Volunteer Officer at one of the many charities and this is an excellent way to discover if you're really suited to this way of life, to make lifelong friends and connections and at the same time gaining that valuable experience and practical skills that will put you in prime position to land your first 'proper' job.
If that's got you thinking check out our volunteering section to see what's available right now.
Start here or head straight for the adverts for voluntary placements.
And if you're already up to your ears in countryside work why not think about something else as a way to get away from it all and have a change of scenery. The CJS Team is involved in a range of activities from being on the Parochial Church Council and the Village Hall Trust to baking cakes for school fundraisers and emptying collection tins for a range of charities. Even the office dogs do their bit, both Hebe and Maia have donated their DNA for research into possible genetic links in cancer in dogs the research is run by Animal Health Trust (one of our favourite, not-countryside charities, please have a look at the wonderful work they do: aht.org.uk).