Lynchmere Society and Duke of Edinburgh award

Harriet Megson working towards her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award on Marley Common clearing bracken and shrub.CONTRIBUTED PICTURE
Harriet Megson working towards her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award on Marley Common clearing bracken and shrub.CONTRIBUTED PICTURE

A NEW initiative by the Lynchmere Society has encouraged five teenagers to help the society’s work on 300 acres of commons at the same time as working towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards.

Although they are all doing the same sort of work, such as scrub clearing, cutting excess growth, bracken bashing and burning the rubbish, they are all working for different ends.

The Duke of Edinburgh award is designed to encourage personal discovery and service to the community.

There are three separate attainment levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

To fulfil each level, a young person must choose an activity within volunteering, physical, skills and expedition.

Jonathan Russell is going for gold with his skill element, Joseph Byham is also aiming for gold with his volunteering element, Alexander Harris aspires towards the Bronze volunteering element, Harriet Megson the Gold volunteering element and her brother, Sebastian Megson, is also doing the bronze volunteering element.

Jonathon and Joseph came to the project through the society’s link with the Camelsdale Scouts.

The others arrived through the Midhurst Youth Wing, Godalming College and Frensham Heights.

They are all aged between 15 and 17.

The youngsters are joining the society on the fortnightly volunteer days at weekends, learning about the conservation work that occurs on the commons, and assisting with plant and wildlife surveys.

This is the first year the Lynchmere Society has offered Duke of Edinburgh placements and already the impact of the helpers is being seen.

A large number of volunteers turn up each time, and the society hopes to increase numbers in the future.