Here at Martin Mere, we wouldn’t get very far without the help of our team of dedicated volunteers. Our volunteers come from all walks of life, from teenagers to octogenarians. They assist with work in all departments, from the education team to out on the reserve. Some of our newest volunteers have recently begun working with the grounds team, and have found themselves getting even more up close and personal with some of our resident birds and mammals that they ever imagined. We caught up with three of them as they were keeping watch over our Eurasian beaver mother and her three kits in the holding pen, prior to a health check:
Local girl Rose, from Freckleton, has been volunteering at Martin Mere since September, and has had some exciting encounters in that short space of time. “I didn’t expect to be so hands on with the birds and mammals, so helping out with a duck catch to worm all the birds was a real treat. I have had a bit of experience with handling seabirds during a conservation internship in the Azores, but had no idea I’d be able to get that kind of experience just down the road from where I grew up! It’s great to contribute to wildlife conservation and education in the UK, and I’m learning so much and gaining lots of valuable experience.” Rose hopes to use the experience she gains through volunteering at Martin Mere to become a reserve warden in the future.
Recent graduates Yasmine and Amy met at University in South Wales, while studying International Wildlife Biology. Between the two of them, they have spent time tracking big game in South Africa, seen Orangutans in Borneo, studied primates in Peru, and in Amy’s case, been bitten by a bat in Honduras. Both Yasmine and Amy began volunteering to gain more experience in their chosen field of wildlife and conservation management.
Amy is another local, from St Helens, but Yasmine grew up in the southwest. “I’ve always loved nature and the outdoors, and growing up around Plymouth, I spent lots of time at the local aquariums and zoos. During my time at university, I was lucky to be able to experience lots of different projects around the world, but I never dreamed that I’d find myself feeding apples and tree bark to beavers right here in the UK.”
“We’ve already got some fantastic experience, getting really hands on with the birds,” adds Amy, “I really enjoyed assisting with the Flamingo health checks, though I did find myself getting pecked quite a bit, as the last few we caught were really feisty.”
If reading about the work of our volunteers has inspired you to contribute your time, you can view all of our current volunteering vacancies on our website at http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/martin-mere/volunteer/.
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