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.


ANTS NEWSLETTER — (Virtual Issue) — SPRING 2020

Summary of Past Work Parties

It was quite a nice day in early November 2019 when we visited Crickley Hill.  As usual we parked in the coach park so it was a short walk to the worksite along the Cotswold Way to the north.  We cleared overhanging branches from the old wrought iron fence beside the path.  We also carried out some small sections of coppicing just inside the fence and stacked the wood into habitat piles.

Three weeks later we were at May Hill where the weather was cool and blustery.  Our task was to clear the brash left behind when more of the silver birch had been felled on the lower common.  We had performed the same task the year before when we also had a large fire.  Unfortunately, by lunchtime the weather was deteriorating so after our sandwiches we packed up as it was starting to rain.

The New Year brought us back again to the lower slopes of Coaley Peak.  The area where we worked is being cleared to enable cattle to graze the site.  Some scrub and small tress had already been cut down so we gathered them up and had a large fire.  We could see grey cloudy weather approaching up the Severn Valley but we only got a few spots of rain as we left.

At the end of January we went to Sherborne to work on a site beside the road which leads up from the village school.  We parked on the left-hand side just beyond the farm where branches and scrub needed to be cleared from a wall running at right angles to the road.  The resultant brash was stacked in habitat piles the other side of the wall.  However, as we took a break for lunch it came on to rain heavily, so we had to finish early.

We should have been on Rodborough Common in mid-February but, due to storm Dennis, this had to be abandoned.  So our next work party was in early March at Woodchester Park.  Although it had been wet up until then, it was a nice sunny start as we made our way to the worksite at the first dam.  Out task was to clear scrub and trees from around the dam to make the site easier to see for a safety inspection.  For some reason (and it happened previously at this site) the fire did not initially want to get going but we eventually had a good blaze.  After lunch Max took us to see the new tree which had replaced our anniversary one that we had planted last year which had died.

Well that‘s it for now.   Due to the Covid-19 situation, I do not know when our next Work Party will be, so keep well and safe and I hope to see you all on 20th June for the Fish & Chip Supper.




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.

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



31st May                Ebworth
12th                       July Westbury Court
2nd                        August Boundary Court
23rd August          TBA
4th October          Sherborne
13th September   Commons
4th October          Sherborne
25th October        Haresfield
15th November    TBA (with Martin)
6th December      Sherborne


ANTS SOCIAL SCENE (Covid-19 dependent)

The ANTS Meeting, due to be held on 24th April, has obviously been cancelled.

Fish & Chip Supper at ”Popeyes• Queens Road, Cheltenham (near Railway Station) will hopefully be held on Saturday, 20th June.  The evening starts at 7:00 p.m. and you can either meet earlier at Tim‘s abode (19 Libertus Court, Cheltenham) or at the restaurant.

ANTS Weekend — Several of the ANTs have booked a 5-day break in early October to the Isle of Wight and we are hoping this will not be affected by the pandemic situation.

Further events for the remainder of the year will be notified as and when they can be organised.


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