What’s it all about then…….
Having always had an interest in Norfolk wildlife and photography, I decided last summer to explore a bit more of what we have on offer in Norfolk.
I have been a volunteer for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust for the last 3/4 years, helping out at events and educational activities and last year added an extra day and a half a week as a volunteer at Ranworth Visitor Centre, thus increasing my knowledge and also enabling me to get a few good photos, which I’d wanted to get for a few years now.
I also discovered Taverham Mill Nature Reserve. A new nature reserve right on my doorstep. After numerous walks around the reserve, discovering what there was to see (although still waiting to spot the otter!) I also volunteered there in helping to organise some activities over the summer holidays.
Seeing children exploring nature and the excitement as they saw the deer in the meadow, the dragonflies catching insects in flight and the many Banded Demoiselles fluttering over the river made me decide on my future path.
Our children have the future of our wildlife in their hands – so they need to get out there and find out about it, so they can appreciate what they have and with a bit of help and encouragement I’m sure they will love it and look after it for the future.
How many of our children, or even us, have seen bats swooping over the water catching insects, the brilliant colours of the kingfisher diving into the river or even our cute little bank vole paddling along silently. How many remember the frequent visits we used to have from wandering hedgehogs, but when was the last time you saw one – we’ve lost over 90% of our hedgehogs in the last few years, so will they still be about when our children grow up?
I believe if our children see and learn about the wildlife they will want to help to conserve it and maybe there will be a brighter future for all. So after hours of watching, learning and photographing it I decided it’s time to get the children (and parents) out there to see what we have and how we can conserve it.
So if you have children with an interest in our natural world, then get them along to an event or club at ‘Bugs, Birds and Beasts’.
I have gained experience by volunteering at;
- Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
- Taverham Mill Nature Reserve
- Heather Avenue Infant School
- Hellesdon Youth Club
Some of my qualifications;
- HABC Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid
- Child Protection and Safeguarding Children
- A Level in Environmental Science
- NAIT in Conservation
I’m also a member of;
- Norfolk Wildlife Trust
- Norfolk Badger Group
- British Dragonfly Society
- Norwich Bat Group
- Bat Conservation Trust
- PTES – Hedgehog Champion
I have been lucky enough to have been able to spend time looking, learning, exploring and photographing parts of Norfolk and our wildlife, which many have never seen. I’ve watched Gt Crested Grebes build their nest, sit on eggs, and despite all odds, hatch 3 babies, which they have cared for and fed until they were able to dive and catch fish for themselves. I’ve spent evenings walking around Taverham Mill lake, with a bat detector in hand, listening to bats feeding over the water. I’ve even been luck enough to have been out on a boat on Barton Broad and watched 3 otters playing in the reeds. These memories stay with me – so what memories do you have? and what memories will your children have?
Having always had an interest in hedgehogs i was most concerned to learn about their decline, so decided to try to help do something about it. I started fostering hedgehogs from a rescue centre, which then led to me setting up Hellesdon hedgehog rehab, which in turn led to Hellesdon Hogwatch – to try to help all hedgehogs in Hellesdon. This led to more hedgehogs turning up on my doorstep than i could cope with, thus having to find other rescue centres in the area who could take them. Feeling i wanted to help more, but having the facilities to be more hands on I then set up Hodmedods Hedgehog Support, to try to support the rescue centres and carers we have and to try to make people more aware of the plight of the hedgehog.
I’m not sure where this is all leading, but its proving to be an interesting path.