The DFT volunteers are actively involved with the management of the forest at all levels. They work alongside the team of two part time employees to achieve the management plan and the Trust's mission statement.
This is accomplished in two ways:
Firstly, a core group of chainsaw-trained people help with felling and windthrow clearance to provide wood for sale, and also undertake the never-ending job of splitting some of the wood for the monthly sale.
Secondly, the ‘green gym’ volunteers work on Thursday mornings thinning, pruning, grass cutting and weeding the nursery.
Other jobs to be done include keeping the forest litter free and the cabin tidy, including taking some of the resident teddy bears home for washing and repair. Kindling has to be chopped and of course bags filled with split logs for the monthly log sales.
Quite simply, without the volunteers who work tirelessly at all these tasks, the forest would not be the lovely and loved place it is.
Santa and his helpers make their annual December visit to the log cabin, usually spread over three days. Several nursery schools have a day out to come and make their requests, while on Saturday and Sunday the public come from near and far to see Father Christmas. Mince pies, juice, hot chocolate, cakes and biscuits are donated by volunteers and offered to the visitors in exchange for donations. This all helps to raise funds for the ongoing work of the forest, as does the sale of Christmas trees, making December our best month for income.
The Dounreay apprentices make their annual visit to the forest each July. They spend a whole week repairing paths that have developed deep potholes, as well as mending and widening bridges and culverts. Their help is invaluable and each visit improves the forest facilities in some way to benefit the community.