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FAQ

Please find below Frequently Asked Questions by our volunteers.

How do I join MOUNTAIN MEITHEAL?

Come and try out a work day with us and see if you like it! To join go to contact us page.

Why do volunteers need to get involved?

In other countries throughout Europe and in the US volunteers undertake path work often supporting the work of professional crews. They work in national parks and forests and on national trails such as the Appalachian Trail or mountain biking trails. Volunteer work makes a real contribution to conserving the environment. The reality is that the problems caused by the increase in usage are outstripping the resources currently available to deal with this conservation problem.

Volunteer effort can also have a huge educational impact. IT demonstrates to other users the impact they are having and hopefully what walkers and other mountain users can do to help save the mountains. We welcome anyone that supports our objectives.

Last but not least it is also good fun, and finishing a project or seeing vegetation returning to a once badly trampling area is very satisfying.

Where and how often do we meet?

Our “season” is February through to November every year. Workdays are usually every other Saturday or Sunday and details appear on programme. Workdays can change depending upon the weather or a particular project’s needs. Please check our programme first. We also notify all our volunteers by email. Add your email address  at contact us.

Who volunteers?

Anyone who’s enthusiastic, willing to learn and is able to pitch in to their best ability – no experience necessary! The work can sometimes be strenuous, sometimes in remote upland places, and good health is important. We provide training in safety procedures, the use of hand tools and trail construction and maintenance techniques. But as a volunteer you can work as hard or take it as easy as you like.

Why do I pay a subscription?

The annual sub pays for necessary insurance cover, costs of running the organization and the cost of buying and replacing tools. We also have a regular newsletter and Christmas party for all our volunteers. We have no paid employees – All members give of their time for free.

What do I need to bring on a day out?

Mountain all-weather gear – fleeces, no denim jeans, waterproof over jacket, plenty of layers, hiking boots, gaiters; its best to wear old clothes to protect against the elements and the work can be dirty! Bring lunch and a hot drink. Work gloves and tools are provided.

How much time should I give?

The one in seven approach!!
In the United States path repairers suggest that for every six to seven days hiking or biking we should spend one on conservation work. So if you walk every week maybe you should be giving about seven days a year to conservation or if you only walk once a month – two days a year.v

But please – GET OUT, GET DIRTY, GIVE BACK.

How much experience do I need?

NONE. We work hard to teach our volunteers the joy of trail maintenance. We hope by investing our time in teaching you trail maintenance you’ll come back and join us again.

Where can I get your t shirts, fleeces etc.?

When you join get a MM pin with your membership card. We award fleeces (free gear) and t shirts to our volunteers for work done. For more info contact us. You can also buy our merchandise  from our online  store.

Can I bring kids?

No sorry unfortunately we can only accept volunteers who are over 18 years of age.

May I leave early? Arrive late?

In general NO. We carry in the tools and out again so it is a little unfair to expect others to do this for you. Our crew leaders give a tool talk and it is important that you are there to hear this important safety message. Our work day runs from 10.30 am – 3.30 pm.

Can I bring my pets?

NO. Please do not bring any pets. We have found that pets can be a significant distraction to other volunteers and trail users and in some rare cases a safety hazard.

Can I bring a big group?

YES. But if your group is larger than 6 people, please contact us to make special arrangements – see our programme for upcoming dates. Email our secretary at contact us.

Do you still work in bad weather?

YES. Unless you are notified otherwise, our crew leaders will be waiting for you at the car park. If the bad weather continues through out the day we may go home early. It’s a very democratic process. The crew leader will listen to the volunteers and call off the work party. You may leave early on your own if you like, but please notify your crew leader if you are leaving and sign out.

Should I bring my own tools?

NO. MEITHEAL provides all the tools you need. The only tools of your own that you might consider bringing would be gloves. Our safety tool talk includes a comprehensive discussion of the safe usage of each tool. We can not permit anyone to bring and use a tool not covered in our safety lecture.

Can I bring my chainsaw?

NO. Volunteers and power tools are a bad mix. Furthermore a special certification is required from land managers like Coillte and the NPWS before anyone is allowed to use a chainsaw on their land. Any felling of trees will be taken care of by the land manager’s hired personnel.