The 'Cheltenham National Trust Volunteers Group'

- known as The ANTS (Active National Trust Squad) are a conservation group based in the Cheltenham and Gloucester area. We have recently worked at The Ebworth Estate, Rodborough Common, Woodchester Park, The Sherborne Estate and May Hill as well  as other NT Gloucestershire countryside properties.

Our work days are usually held every third Sunday. We also have a variety of social events and two Open Meetings‘ a year for members to air their views. Newsletters are produced two or three times a year. This information can be found on the Centre web site Click on the ANTS button on the left of the first page.

It is essential to let Russ or Tim know if you intend to come on a work party in case there is a last minute change of venue or cancellation due to adverse weather.

For bookings and further information please contact: Russ Self 01242 243714 or or Tim Parker on 01242 522435

You will need to bring enough food and drink for the day and have good boots (preferably  with steel toecaps), strong gloves and waterproof clothing. Tools are provided by the N T Rangers. We aim to arrive at work sites between 9.30 and 10.00 and usually finish between 14.00 and 15.00.

Work Party Dates and Locations June — December 2018

03 June — Ebworth

13 May — Newark Park (TBC)                  

24 June — Rodborough Common 

15 July  --- Westbury Court

5 August --- Sherborne

19 August --- TBC

16 September ---- Woodchester

7 October --- Littleworth Woods

28 October --- Crickley Hill

18 November --- Sherborne

16 December --- Coaley Peak


ANTS Newsletter, Spring, 2018

Cold with snow but we managed to miss the worst of the weather, although it was rather cold but bright and sunny in early January when we returned to the Pleasure Grounds at Sherborne  We continued to cut back the laurel beside the yew tree which has the wrought iron seat around it and, as before, we stacked the cut wood in habitat piles.  

It was clear but windy on Rodborough Common at the end of January.  We worked on Bear Hill, burning up the debris after contractors had been clearing trees and scrub (2 good fires that time)

We have not been to Coaley Peak for some time but this was the location for our work party in mid-February.  Here we cleared small trees and scrub but, being on a steep slope, a length of rope had to be employed to assist the transport of the cut vegetation uphill to our bonfire site.

On a damp day in early March (our 40th Anniversary) we went to Woodchester where we cleared scrub from the top dam.  A fire on each side of the water course was needed although one did give up the ghost at lunchtime.  Dave Armstrong and Matt Stanway came along with cakes and refreshments to celebrate our special day, after which we moved further down the valley to plant an oak tree in commemoration.

May Hill, on a glorious day in late March, saw us helping Tim Jenkins clear up after the felling of silver birch trees which were encroaching onto the Common.

We were with Martin Jones on Dover‘s Hill in late April, where we removed old tree guards from around (now) mature beech trees.

Our latest work party on a beautiful day in early May had the Group cleaning carved stone gate posts at Newark Park.  This work had been carried out approximately 10 years ago when the majority of the group received specialist training, so it was a matter of dusting down the little grey cells and re-acquainting ourselves with the cleaning fluid and brushes needed.  Ice creams all round at the end of the day!!
WORK PARTIES - see above

Please bring enough food and drink for the day, together with suitable clothing and footwear.  Tools will be available, supplied by the Rangers, and we can provide protective gloves if required.

Due to parking problems we will no longer meet in the centre of Cheltenham so please let either Tim or Russ/Sally know if you are coming so that we can arrange enough transport and in case there is a last minute change of venue.  We aim to arrive at the worksites between 09:30 & 10:00. 
Tim — 01242 522435 Russ/Sally — 01242 243714 or email:


Fish & Chip Suppers at ”Popeyes• Queens Road, Cheltenham (near Railway Station) —The next outings will be Saturdays, 22nd June & 3rd November (which will be followed by a small Fireworks display).  The evenings start at 7:00 p.m. and you can either meet earlier at Tim‘s abode (19 Libertus Court, Cheltenham) or at the restaurant.

40th Anniversary Evening — Jane has kindly offered to host a social evening at her home on Saturday, 28th July from 5.00 p.m. - ANTS and Rangers are all welcome. The address is ”Little Orchard•, Dark Lane, Swindon Village, Cheltenham GL51 9RW.  Would you please contact Russ Self (01242 243714 or email by 1st July if you wish to attend so that catering can be co-ordinated.

ANTS Weekend - The dates for the next long weekend break will be 11th—14th October.  I have received suggestions for the venue to be in the areas around Ely, Plymouth, West Sussex or Knowle, so please indicate if you are interested.  I will then research for available accommodation at a reasonable price.

The next ANTS Meeting will be at Tim‘s house on Friday, 26th October at 7.45 p.m.

ANTS Christmas Lunch — Sunday 9th December has been pencilled and Tim has provisionally booked ”Madisons•, the venue we were at last year.  Details of the cost, menu and times will be communicated in the autumn.



Here is to the latest  Gloucestershire Volunteers newsletter:



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