There’s something amazing at Strumpshaw Fen. This time I’m not talking about the bitterns, bearded tits, otters, or even the huge swirling flocks of starlings at dusk. I’m talking about the incredible people you can meet here any day of the week.
Working at Strumpshaw Fen I meet these incredible people every day. We give them a special name – ‘volunteers’ – but this one word doesn’t do justice to the huge range of talents and skills that our volunteers contribute. There are more than 12,000 volunteers across the RSPB. At Strumpshaw Fen alone, we rely on more than fifty volunteers giving their time, energy and expertise - all for the love of nature!
On a typical day at Strumpshaw Fen, the first person you’ll meet is a volunteer – they’re there to greet you at reception hide, give you a warm welcome and make sure you’ve got all the information you need before you start your trek.
Today, while Peter and Bette greet visitors in reception hide, another volunteer called Mark is up a ladder in a boiler suit. He’s fixing a broken light, but at other times he can be found mending the roof or helping with other jobs that need a builder’s touch. It’s not just wildlife experts we need at the RSPB!
While Mark’s up the ladder, Leejiah is carrying out a bird survey. Leejiah is one of three residential volunteers who are doing placements at the reserve to learn wardening skills. They help with everything from wildlife surveys to scrub clearance and less glamorous jobs like cleaning toilets!
Visit on a Thursday or Saturday and you might see a whole team of volunteers out in the reeds or woodland sweating over the habitat work. These are our Thursday and Saturday work parties who help keep the habitats in tip-top shape for wildlife.
These are just a few of the volunteers who help at Strumpshaw Fen, but we owe a huge thank you to each and every one them. I hope they get as much pleasure from helping as we get from working with them!
Fantastic, Hear! Hear! They are wonderful!
I visited Strumpshaw on 16 November with three more incredible people - volunteers from Fen Drayton Lakes. We were welcomed, had a chat about what to look out for, then went off and saw two otters from the Fen Hide - just where we were told they might be seen. Brilliant!