The RSPB Dee Estuary nature reserve’s long-serving site manager has retired after over 40 years working for the UK’s largest nature conservation charity.
Colin Wells, who came to the Dee in 1984 as warden when the reserve only consisted of the vast saltmarsh at Parkgate, rose to site manager as he helped grow the RSPB’s land-holding at Inner Marsh Farm and Burton Marsh Farm, culminating in the opening of Burton Mere Wetlands’ in 2011.
Colin’s early RSPB career saw him serve short contracts at reserves in Scotland, Yorkshire, Norfolk and Lancashire before being posted to the Dee to replace the warden at the time.
Robin Horner, Area Reserves Manager, said: “Colin’s working life has been devoted to the creation and management of homes for nature. He is an expert in the requirements of coastal wetlands and the wildlife that lives within it and has been instrumental in not only managing the Dee Estuary reserve, but also inspiring local people to appreciate and care for this vitally important site and the wildlife that lives here.”
The Dee Estuary is one of the RSPB’s largest reserves and also benefits from legal protection as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Protection Area for the wealth of wetland birds that call it home. The visitor facilities at Burton Mere Wetlands bring the extensive wildlife spectacles of the estuary into close view of fully accessible hides and nature trails allowing everybody to share and enjoy.
Colin Wells said: “It has been a privilege to work for such a wonderful organisation that achieves so much for wildlife as the RSPB. During my career, I have seen it grow from a small society to the UK’s largest nature conservation charity. With the struggles facing the environment today, it is more important than ever that wildlife receives such support, and I am proud to have been able to contribute to the fight to save it. I’m pleased to have led the transformation of the land at Burton over the past 30 years, and look forward to enjoying Burton Mere Wetlands regularly as a visitor!”
Last Updated: Tuesday 3 October 2017