A message from the Chair

Below is a short message from the Chair of the Box Moor Trust, David Kirk. David sheds some light on the role of being a Trustee, and how rewarding it can be.

25 years ago, I did something really out of character. I ignored all inner doubts and put my name down for election to the Trust. Why? Because, from the age of just 7, I had the freedom of roaming the Trust lands as a child, without fear. Even in 1995, children were beginning to be confined to their homes and I wanted them to experience what I had done. I was also dedicated to restoring the wildlife habitats that I had remembered back in the 1950s. Anyone over 70 who has lived here since then will remember the incredible fields of wildflowers that used to surround the town.

When I heard the result of that election, it was a total shock but it was the beginning of the best 25 years of my life outside the key milestones within my family.

Seeing children experience touching a small toad or a newt for the first time, hearing that some have never even been in a field before and reading incredible thank you letters for the many things we do makes all the efforts we put in so worthwhile. Similarly, being part of a project that successfully sees the return of a rare species is a rewarding experience given that so much is going in the opposite direction elsewhere. Not everyone agrees with us so we do get occasional criticism but the majority are pleased with what the Trust does and every week brings favourable responses.

I know that anyone considering being a candidate may have reservations and that the very thought of attracting the votes of people you don’t know without the support and solidity of a political party back-up is daunting, but please give it some thought.

A proportion of our Trustees have to step down every 5 years. An election in a pandemic is not ideal but mobile phones, email and post will avoid the need for a polling station. The Trust will assist all candidates by putting your ‘manifesto’ on the website. If you are successful, you will have 6 experienced current Trustees ready to help you ease into the role, an excellent staff team to support you and an incredible band of volunteers from every walk of life to encourage you.

We need an array of skills on the Board to meet our responsibilities and to manage the Estate effectively. The more income we can earn the more we can do for the community. Apart from an interest in our land, you may support the arts, opportunities for young people, sport, heritage, help for aged and those with special needs or other important local issues. So, there are many ways that you can help provide benefits for our community. Whilst there is a team culture it is also an organisation where an individual can really make a difference. Both currently, and in the past, I have had the privilege of working with many very special Trustees. Together we have doubled your lands over this time and have substantially increased our support to and contacts with the community as a whole. It is true that income from a key lease facilitated this but our progress would not have been possible without huge voluntary effort and dedication by Trustees over that period. It is essential that we continue to strive towards sustainable income so that all our good work can continue and flourish.

Yes, It is a responsible position and there are challenges ahead, but it can be extremely rewarding when you see the joy people of all ages can experience from the efforts you put in and the way our staff team and large band of volunteers respond to each challenge. If you would like to have a chat with me before making up your mind to stand then please email or ring the Trust and I will get back to you.

David Kirk