Wanted ........ your support for our local groups in their communities ......
The top story on the staff RSPB intranet is encouraging people to get voting for various RSPB projects that have put themselves forward for £6,000 from Natwest Communityforce.
Two of these projects are from our local groups and I thought it would be a good idea to let you know, so you can vote. Both of these projects engage the local community with nature, and you can find out more about those vying for your votes below.
About the projects:Click on the links for more information about each project and to vote:
There is also a number of other RSPB projects so there are other options for your voting.
How to vote:All you need to do is to register separately (which is free) at http://communityforce.natwest.com/ for the English projects and http://communityforce.rbs.co.uk/ for those in Scotland. Then you can pick your three favourite projects in each country and vote for them. Voting closes at midnight on October 23.
What to do next:I would love it if you could help us get the word out, please can you let you friends, family and contact know by word of mouth, facebook, twitter and email.
More about some wonderful ideas our groups have had to enable them to Step Up for Nature ……
A million calories for natureEarlier this year a group of volunteers who regularly help out with practical conservation work at our RSPB Farnham Heath nature reserve took it upon themselves to create a recipe book....
Why? Well, over the years it’s become a firm tradition for the volunteers to take it in turns to bake cakes and take them along every time they meet at Farnham - a well deserved treat to enjoy during their tea breaks after a hard work out session on the reserve! Obviously (as everybody likes cakes don’t they?!) these baked delights were well received by everyone, particularly by the site manager, Mike Coates!
These volunteers then had the inspired idea of collating their recipes and turning them into a book entitled ‘A million calories for nature’, so that they could raise funds for nature! A couple of the volunteers, Ann and Dawn, took on the task of creating the book and arranging for it to be printed.
As several of the Farnham volunteers were also volunteers with the NE Hants Local Group and Guildford Local Group, this gave them a natural outlet to start selling them, at £1.50 a recipe book, at local events they attended in their area. This, as well as selling them individually to friends, family and work colleagues, brought the total to a fantastic £180!
There are 18 recipes in total, to include delights such as Bob’s Chocolate Crunch, Mrs Humphrey’s Fruit Cake, Mal’s Ginger Cake and Tony’s Date & Cherry Butter Bars.
My mouth is watering already!
A haven for natureA beautiful new RSPB wildlife garden was opened on 18 June at the Woodside Walled Garden in Ancrum. The first project of its kind for RSPB in Scotland, the garden was generously funded by Awards for All and was created by hard-working volunteers from the Borders Local Group, with the support of Woodside’s owners.
Anne McCall, Regional Director for South and West Scotland, was guest of honour and performed the opening ceremony, complete with ribbon cutting! In her speech she thanked all those involved, particularly the owners of Woodside, Steve and Emma Emmerson, their predecessors Jane Vickers and Annie Neath, and the Group Leader and Secretary, respectively, Johnny and Nancy Marshall.
Many group members helped to make the opening event a great success, with funds being raised from a ‘Name the Albatross’ competition and a very popular chocolate-themed tombola! Wildlife artist Colin Woolf was also present to demonstrate his painting.
The main feature of the new wildlife garden is a large pond that is already home to numerous newts, frogs and water beetles. Flowers and shrubs to attract bees and butterflies have also been planted. Nestboxes have been put up around the garden, some with cameras to relay images of nesting birds to a large screen in the garden’s RSPB information centre. Visitors can also enjoy watching a variety of birds coming to the feeders, including nuthatches and siskins. The best bird recorded so far has been a crossbill drinking at the pond.
The aim of the garden is not just to provide a home for wildlife, but to inspire visitors, and to suggest ways in which they can improve their own gardens for birds and other wildlife. The garden will also be a focal point for the Borders Local Group and promote their conservation work and activities.
The RSPB Wildlife Garden is situated in the Woodside Walled Garden near Ancrum, just off the A68 on the B6400.
I've always loved birds and nature. I grew up in East Sussex and was lucky enough to live on a small holding with acres of space and lots of wildlife. I can remember as a child camping out in the garden just so I could hear the dawn chorus. I joined the YOC (Young Ornithologist Club) and still treasure my badge. The Lodge (RSPB) Headquarters was a magical place that I wanted to visit but I never quite managed to get there. This year as a volunteer and some 40-odd years later I achieved my ambition when I attended a ‘thank you’ event for Love Nature Week volunteers. I am pleased to tell you that the Lodge lived up to my childhood dreams!
After over 20 years of teaching in a primary school in Willesden, North West London, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take some time out for myself. How I ever managed to spend so long indoors and in a city beats me but now I am able to spend most of my time out of doors enjoying our natural world. Several years ago I bought a badge from a pin badge box at Beachy Head in Sussex and I promised myself that if I could I would become a pin badge box volunteer. Once I had left teaching I decided that I wanted to spend some of my time volunteering with the RSPB. So I took on a pin badge box or two. I currently have ten boxes that I monitor and I am also an area co-ordinator for Buckinghamshire. I am always on the lookout for new places that might be suitable and willing to house a box.
Placing a pin badge box and then servicing it once a month really doesn’t take up that much time especially if it is located close to where you live, work or visit regularly. It is also a good chance to meet and make friends with new people. And you’re helping our wildlife.
As an area co-ordinator I help to manage a few other volunteers and it is always good to hear how their boxes are doing, to keep them updated and supplied with badges. Earlier this year I arranged to meet one of my volunteers as I saw this to be a great chance to get to know each other better. In time I hope to meet all my volunteers. Meeting up with other area co-ordinators every six months is very useful, and having these meetings at reserves around the Midlands area gives us all an opportunity to see other patches and enjoy the wildlife that thrives there.
The many different birds that visit my garden and entertain me remind me that by volunteering for the RSPB I am helping secure their future.
Carole Taylor is Pin Badge Area Coordinator for Buckinghamshire. Would you like to become a pin badge boxer too? For details contact Mark Barrett on 01295 676455 or email email@example.com