Rachele Crawford, Belfast
Here are a few words from some of our volunteers;
I have been volunteering at the RSPB Harbour Reserve since I retired 5 years ago. It is a wonderful place ; a wildlife reserve that shelters thousands of birds in the middle of a busy harbour estate.
The staff and volunteers are a great bunch of people who are eager to help with any queries and the reserve attracts visitors from all over the world.
Birders and photographers are able to observe the birds either from the visitor reception or from the two dedicated hides.
I really enjoy my role as a volunteer.
I have been a Volunteer at Belfast WOW for 12 years now.
Volunteering was recommended to me after I left a rather stressful job and I thought I would at least give it a try for a couple of months. I was soon drawn into a quiet, calm but fascinating world, watching and learning about our native birds, the miracle of migration and the changing tides and seasons, things that I had taken largely for granted. I had heard of birders and twitchers off course but I loved to literally watch birds.....their feeding habits, their disputes and squabbles and their fortitude amid all that our weather can throw at them. I have made some great friends down the years, not only among the kind and knowledgeable Staff and Volunteers at the Reserve, but also among people who have walked in from the street, visiting for the first of many times. Our visitors have come from all corners of the world; our Volunteers come from every age group and every walk of life. Each has a story to tell, as have our visitors and I have learned so much about birds, about nature and the world around us. My 12 years at the Reserve have flown in and I would not have missed a minute of it.