Charles Mutty, Master Composter

Volunteers' week

90 year old Charles, pictured here receiving an award from the local Mayor, has been volunteering as a Master Composter since he attended Norfolk’s first training course in November 2006.

Since Charles trained 10 years ago, The Norfolk Master Composter Programme has trained 241 volunteers contributing in excess of 8,000 volunteer hours, and spoken to more than 40,000 Norfolk residents about the benefits of home composting.

Following the training course Charles “took a stall at every garden fete, flower show or tea party I could find. Various local clubs and societies filled a vacant date with my presence and I continued to learn!”

“After some years my enthusiasm for loading the car with display materials for various outdoor activities had diminished somewhat, largely because of the energy required but also because people will ask questions (!) which I found difficult to understand outside. However, two or three times a year I manage to address a gardening club or allotment society where being a ‘little deaf’ has its advantage; it gives one time to think! Wonderful people, I found and a teacher told me that gardeners always are! I continue to have a regular article, ‘Compost and such…’ in our local freebee and haven’t got the sack yet!”

Now in my ninth decade, my composting activities are diminishing but I have one morning a week, with five and six year olds and one evening after school with seniors, teaching chess; a delightful job I would never have been able to attain without my composting introduction. The school never fails to express appreciation at my considerable efforts to which I always reply ‘the benefit the children get is little enough compared to the benefit I get.’ I am indeed very fortunate and all as a result of my enthusiasm for composting!

To find out if there is a Master Composter Programme in your area please email