Malcolm Ferguson spent more than a decade volunteering with Bushcare along with two mates but now he needs a helping hand.
The Carlingford man, who is 83 years old, joined Bushcare about 15 years ago and began working at the Bambara site once a week with fellow volunteers John and Clive.
The three men quickly became friends, with their group being dubbed the ‘Three Blokes’ Bushcare team, but recently Malcolm has been forced to care for the land by himself after Clive moved from the area and John suffered an injury.
Due to Bushcare safety and Council’s Duty of Care, sites must have at least two people working together at any time, meaning Malcolm has only been able to volunteer at Bambara when a Council employee is available to supervise.
“I used to do this once a week and now I’ve hardly come down here in a couple of months,” Malcolm said.
“The weeds are starting to get out of hand, everything looked lovely at one stage and now it’s starting to look degraded.
“It makes me wonder, everyone likes to come walk through here but no one seems to want to help.”
Malcolm has remained a Bushcare volunteer as he enjoys the opportunity to make a difference in Hornsby Shire and help the environment.
His work on the Bambara site has greatly improved the bushland in the area and contributed to a significant part of the popular Pioneers’ Track bushwalk.
“I suppose I’m giving a little bit back to the community… what does a volunteer get out of it? The joy of working with the plants and the earth, and to restore some of the degradation that we humans have done to the land,” he said.
Bushcare trainer Stephanie Chew added that volunteers also make strong friendships while working together, with Malcolm and his friends even meeting up for Christmas parties outside of Bushcare.
“One important aspect that the volunteers get out of Bushcare is that social aspect, the three blokes got together once a week and morning tea was quite important during that time,” she said.
If you are interested in joining this group, or volunteering for Bushcare, please call 9847 6362 or email email@example.com. You can also find out more information online at hornsby.nsw.gov.au/bushcare