A community thrives on volunteers and they come in all shapes and sizes. Whether its helping the environment or the elderly or the infirm or the animals, every voluntary group needs a variety of people.

And so it is with the Aongatete Forest Project. There’s Barry and Tom, the strong, silent types, who vanish all day into the forest with packs heavy with rat bait or possum lures. There’s Barbara, whose ebullient personality gets us doing things we really didn’t think we could do. There’s Mary, who knows us all and finds us the right job to do. There’s Jenny, who makes cake or scones for morning tea at the kohanga. There’s Dave, who’s the back-room man who understands computers and communications. (He’s also a strong, silent worker in the forest). There’s Juliet and Rita who have supported the project since it began, and now, with advancing age, put out rat bait along the shortest lines.

And there’s me, who just loves being in the forest and telling a good story.

There are many ways to help, in the forest or behind the scenes. It’s not a big commitment but lots of fun and it’s a great way to meet people.