A taster of the C17th in London

Last week a group of LSE student volunteers and the LSE Volunteer Centre team went to Richmond to participate in a one-off volunteering opportunity. Everyone was impressed by the beauty of Richmond, Ham House, and its surroundings.

Rebecca, who works for Thames Landscape Strategy (TLS), told us about the history and importance of Ham House and its surroundings for the UK. Over the years, the historic avenues near Ham House, which were laid out in the C17th became, degraded by litter and self-sown trees. Our student volunteers would therefore help restore an avenue. Luckily, it was a warm day!

Chopping and sawing

After a search for two matching gloves and a short safety briefing the students could start their task. Some chopped and sawed trees and piled the branches, whilst others helped with making fire and burning the wood. At the same time, an impressively large Shire horse dragged wood from the other end of the avenue to our spot. The TLS team explained that Shire horses were already used for this work in the 17th century. In contrast to it size, the horse turned out to be extremely calm and sweet. Seeing the horse in action during the volunteering was definitely an unexpected bonus.

David Coles, LSE Volunteer Centre Manager, said:

It was fantastic being back down in Ham to help restore the lanes using traditional methods involving shire horses. The LSE students got really stuck in and it was really interesting to hear about the history of the area from Becky and their plans for the future. We look forward to returning to Ham House in the summer!

Come volunteer!

After a day of physical labour, the volunteers returned home, both satisfied and tired. Their great work helped restore a British National Trust property. Do you also want to combine having fun with doing something good? Sign up for one of our other one-off volunteering opportunities now, or select volunteering as your interest in CareerHub to ensure you keep up to date with our future events.