Environmental Volunteering – Northern Roots

Our current Environmental Volunteering programme is running and closed for applications, but please do check back for further opportunities and get in touch with us at any time at northern.roots@oldham.gov.uk


Environmental Volunteering – Rachael’s Story

“I live on the edge of the Northern Roots site. I spend most of my spare time walking around photographing the amazing wildlife that makes Northern Roots home, and taking my two young boys for adventurous nature walks. When I heard about the future plans for Northern Roots and how the project plans to improve biodiversity and habitat on the site, I knew I had to get involved, so I signed up for the eight-week Environmental Volunteering programme.

I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people and had so many chats about life in general, as well as about nature, and it’s been nice to share my photos with the group. Even in the cold, once we got going it soon warmed up and time flew!

I’ve enjoyed getting involved in litter picking and the general clean-up of the area and can already see a massive improvement. We’ve spent much of our time working on a small area of woodland at Northern Roots. This has involved thinning spindly saplings, removing dead and broken branches from trees, clearing overgrown vegetation, and making the woodland more accessible for both wildlife and humans. Any trees we remove that are small and healthy will be planted in a tree nursery for a while, until they are ready to be replanted somewhere else on site. As we worked, we were often watched by a beautiful Robin. This little bit of woodland will be a perfect place to put up bird boxes and my boys will have a new space to explore and bird watch and get closer to nature.

I’m so excited about what’s to come next with Northern Roots. It’s something that benefits all locals and the children that will grow up and be a part of nature on the site. It’s full of wonderful amazing wildlife and I’m happy to be a part of helping and seeing the hard work pay off. I look forward to spending many years at this place and seeing how I’m making a difference to improve it for everybody to enjoy. “

You can enjoy Rachael’s amazing photographs of wildlife and birds at Northern Roots by following her Instagram account at @rachaelrosephotography

Where is Northern Roots?

Northern Roots is ten minutes from Oldham town centre. The 160-acre site stretches from Alexandra Park in the north, past Park Bridge Heritage Centre, to Bankfield Clough in the south. It is bordered by Glodwick, Fitton Hill, Hathershaw and Alt.

Other volunteering opportunities at Northern Roots

The Community Food Growing Project, a partnership between Oldham Council and Northern Roots, is currently looking for new volunteers on Tuesday afternoons.  If you’d like to meet new people, learn how to grow fresh fruit and veg, and make a difference to communities in Oldham, take a look.


Environmental volunteering at Northern Roots.
Robin at Northern Roots. Photo courtesy of @rachaelrosephotography.
Environmental volunteering at Northern Roots.
Roe Deer at Northern Roots. Photo courtesy of @rachaelrosephotography.
The 160-acre Northern Roots site in Oldham, Greater Manchester.