It's National Volunteering Week and the team at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, near Neston are appealing for your help.
The visitor facilities at Burton Mere Wetlands have been open for almost five years and the small staff team is seeking additional volunteers to help with the attraction's growing number of visitors.
The staff are already supported by a fantastic team of volunteers but are now keen to enhance the experience offered to visitors as they explore the reserve's trails. Whilst much of the wildlife is readily accessible, some of the less common creatures can be trickier to spot.
Dan Trotman Visitor Experience Manager at Burton Mere Wetlands said: "Our visitor reception building has spectacular views across the reserve and offers the chance to see a great variety of different wildlife. RSPB staff and volunteers are always on hand to point out the highlights there but there's often something great to be seen close to one of the trails or from one of the hides - basking common lizards, intricate bee orchids or a sleeping long-eared owl - that we don't want visitors to miss!"
"We're looking for enthusiastic volunteers to go out on the reserve and show people the hidden gems and share their passion and knowledge of wildlife with visitors of all ages."
Mike Giverin, an RSPB volunteer at the site said: "In 2013 I had re-kindled a childhood interest in wildlife, especially birds, and after visiting Burton Mere Wetlands I knew very quickly this was somewhere I wanted to get involved."
"Volunteering here allows me to make a tangible contribution to the RSPB's mission to give nature a home, plus I've been able to develop my knowledge of wildlife and conservation massively. No two days are the same, with different wildlife appearing through the seasons and a broad range of visitors to talk to from experienced birdwatchers to families eager to explore."
"I'm immensely proud to represent one of the leading wildlife conservation charities, and I quickly felt like a valued member of the team at Burton Mere Wetlands. I hope there are more people out there who want to do the same, so that we can connect even more people with the wonderful wildlife we're blessed with in the UK."
For anyone interested in this or other volunteering opportunities at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, enquire by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0151 353 8478. For more information on the reserve and its activities, check out the website www.rspb.org.uk/deeestuary
For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Daniel Trotman, RSPB Visitor Experience Manager, on 07718 699014 or email email@example.com
Annabel Rushton, RSPB Regional Communications Manager, on 01524 581026 or 07793 902 590 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
1. The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again www.rspb.org.uk
2. Burton Mere Wetlands is the gateway to the RSPB's Dee Estuary nature reserve, with one of the newest visitor facilities in the country. From the comfort of the reception building, visitors can see nesting avocets and lapwings in the summer and huge flocks of ducks, geese and swans in winter. Water voles and badgers are resident here, whilst the summer months are alive with flickering colours from the countless dragonflies and butterflies.
Four miles up the road at Parkgate, the vast saltmarsh provides internationally important habitat for thousands of wading birds and wildfowl, but one of the biggest draws are the birds of prey and owls; hen harriers, Peregrine falcons and short-eared owls are amongst the most captivating winter visitors. During exceptionally high spring tides, the saltmarsh becomes flooded and the resident harvest mice, field voles and the like can be seen fleeing the rising water.
Point of Ayr lies at the tip of the Welsh side of the estuary, where thousands of wading birds gather to roost at high tide, and a huge variety of migrant birds stop off to feed and nest on the saltmarsh. Natterjack toads breed in the sand dunes and the critically endangered Sandhill Rustic Moth thrives here.
A programme of events runs at all three sites throughout the year, please see: www.rspb.org.uk/deeestuary
Location and opening times:
RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Puddington Lane, Burton, Cheshire, CH64 5SF. The reserve is open every day except Christmas Day, 9 am until dusk (up to 9 pm in summer). Our visitor reception is open 9.30 am-5 pm, February to October, and 9.30 am-4.30 pm November to January.
3. National Volunteering Week, 1-12 June, celebrates the incredible impact volunteers have in the not-for-profit and charitable sectors in the UK. During this week, events are taking place across the country, including taster days and celebrations. www.volunteersweek.org/