Tool Store Volunteer

Tony Landless (AKA Tool Store Tony)


Tony Landless, Tool Store Volunteer
The year was 2006 and I retired at 65, from my last job as a Design Engineer involved in the manufacture of airport landing lights. This job kept me inside generally so I resolved to volunteer with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust with a view to working outdoors and giving something back for all of the happy years spent bird watching.

So I came to Brandon and initially spoke to the Brandon Marsh Conservation Team, mainly Alban Wincott, who persuaded me to join their team and carry out work at Brandon Marsh. However, when I came to join I was made aware of Nature Force who visited all of the Reserves within the county to carry out conservation and monitoring work. This really appealed to me so I joined them and was made very welcome by the slightly mad bunch of folk giving there time so generously. In fact I have found the welcome and camaraderie is great throughout the Trust.

I have been working with Nature Force now for 5 years, and initially got stuck in with the best of them. I learnt new skills, some very rewarding like hedge laying and stock fence repairs, others a bit of a chore, but never the less needed doing. Ask anybody in the Nature Force team about Ragwort, Thistle and Balsam pulling.

However recently a couple of ailments have now slowed me down to the point were I could not put in a full days work on the reserves. A dilemma then presented itself, I wanted to continue to volunteer with the Trust, but how? 

Well some clever clogs approached me and asked, if with my engineering background, I would consider moving into the Tool Store in order to maintain the tools, mainly re-sharpening blunt cutting tools of all varieties. It is very frustrating to arrive on site to find that some of the equipment does not work properly. So I said yes and that is were you can find me these days, (when I am not in the Tea Room). I try to keep track of tools that are not functioning correctly for one reason or another and carry out cost effective repairs were possible. The full time staff are great on the tidying and re-organising front, (when I prod them with a sharp stick), and improvements are still ongoing. 

I have been involved in making Mink Rafts that are designed to establish the presence of the little blighters then to trap them so that they can be despatched. They really are a menace to our native wild life, particularly our endangered water voles.

I have also helped out with other projects by making bits and pieces as and when they are required and I am very happy doing all of this most Thursdays and some Tuesdays. May it continue for some time to come.

If you feel that you could enjoy helping by doing something similar why not get in touch.  


To find out more about our current volunteering opportunities please click here or contact our Volunteer Manager.