Take yourself back to May 2020, it was unusually hot for the time of year. We appreciated glorious sunshine whilst our keyworkers continued their jobs, unsure of what was ahead. Every Thursday evening, we stood on our doorsteps, clapping and banging our saucepans for them, whilst we took comfort in the small things. I was one of those keyworkers, working in my local hospital as a midwife during the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic.
During days off, I took any opportunity to get outside. To breathe in the fresh air and look up to the bright, blue skies. Something I really noticed was as we stopped still, nature came out. I picked up my camera and began photographing the birds that were visiting my garden, never really taking the time to look at their colours, patterns or listen to their songs before now. It was during that time, I realised a lifelong passion was developing.
Once restrictions had eased slightly, I decided to visit my local RSPB reserve – Frampton Marsh. From the moment I arrived, I knew this was a special place and a year later, I joined the Visitor Centre Volunteer Team.
As a volunteer, we work three hour shifts either in the morning or afternoon. The role includes working alongside the duty manager opening the visitor centre and greeting visitors. We provide information about the reserve and serve refreshments, along with encouraging people to join the RSPB as a member in support of the local environment and economy, as well as inspiring younger generations to take an interest in nature.
As a volunteer, we work in partnership with RSPB members, other volunteers and support and promote the work our wardens do to facilitate the increase of breeding birds, such as redshank and lapwings, on the reserve.
My favourite part of volunteering is the wide range of people I get to meet, with different backgrounds, experiences and knowledge. I love seeing the landscape of the marsh change over the seasons and the different birds that arrive. There is nothing better than the fresh spring air or the sound of the wintering wigeon.
We are a friendly team and are always looking for new volunteers. You will learn so much while you are volunteering, so all you need to bring with you is enthusiasm and a friendly face. If you feel this may be something you would be interested in yourself, we would love to hear from you. Please pop down to see us and have a chat or get in contact at Dr Chris Andrews:- firstname.lastname@example.org