Six months with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Blog post by Steve Cox on 12 Feb, 2019
I have been in the unusual and lucky position of being paid by my employer to volunteer for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. John Lewis sponsored me to work one day a week for six months under its Golden Jubilee Scheme which was set up in April 2000 to mark 50 years since the business was handed to its workers, known as “partners”, by Spedan Lewis, son of John Lewis. It has been a fascinating, stimulating and fun six months, so much so that I am continuing to volunteer now that the John Lewis secondment has ended.

My time with the Trust got off to a good start with the Volunteers’ Day at Weeting Heath in July 2018. Volunteers were given a guided tour of the reserve, talks by wildlife experts, who each thanked volunteers for their contribution to the trust’s work, and we enjoyed fish and chips in the warm late afternoon sunshine. The event showed me that the efforts of volunteers were valued and much appreciated by the Trust. And I found myself in the company of volunteers and NWT staff who were clearly committed to the cause and enjoying working together for the benefit of nature.
Steve Cox

Steve Cox



I am a journalist and so got involved in the public relations and communications side of the Trust. The first weeks were spent visiting all the NWT reserves with visitor centres – Cley, Ranworth, Hickling, Holme and Weeting – taking pictures and writing reports on the facilities they offer and their family-friendly activities, such as pond-dipping and bug hunts. I was amazed at all the activity there and delighted to be visiting during the long, hot summer of 2018.

Next came project-led assignments, reporting on schemes under way, including the purchase and conversion of farmland near Thompson Common, restoration work at Catfield Fen, the management of Pigneys Wood and the purchase and transformation of land near Roydon Common.

The time I have been able to give to the Trust has also allowed me to write articles on fundraising, including pieces to encourage people to join the Trust and to consider leaving a legacy to the NWT. I have also added to the NWT’s stock of pictures to illustrate its brochures and online content, most recently by taking pictures of branded products – from soap to binoculars – which can be bought in the visitor centres.

It has been a challenge sometimes to get my head around the complicated issues the Trust tackles but I have had a lot of fun too. I am so pleased the Trust made the most of my time – and I suspect that many other volunteers feel they are making a difference. I know from what was said at the Volunteers’ Day at Weeting that the Norfolk Wildlife Trust could not achieve as much as it does without people donating their time and effort.

Steve Cox is an NWT volunteer, formerly on secondment as part of John Lewis Partership Golden Jubilee Trust.
NWT
Share this

Latest Blog Posts

Leaving the nest Leaving the nest
by Mark Webster on 16 Apr, 2019
On the verge On the verge
by David North on 14 Apr, 2019
Making connections: why we need to come together to solve conservation problems Making connections: why we ...
by David North on 29 Mar, 2019
More flapwort than nettles More flapwort than nettles
by Jenny Jones (guest author) on 28 Feb, 2019
The Hickling Broad Nature Reserve The Hickling Broad Nature R...
by Barry Madden on 26 Feb, 2019
Hedgehogs in the winter garden Hedgehogs in the winter garden
by Helen Baczkowska on 05 Feb, 2019
World Wetlands Day 2019 World Wetlands Day 2019
by David North on 31 Jan, 2019
The 250 Club The 250 Club
by Dick Wingate on 31 Dec, 2018
Raptor Roost experience at Hickling Broad Raptor Roost experience at ...
by Rachel Frain & Jo Wright (guest author) on 28 Dec, 2018
How to help a hedgehog How to help a hedgehog
by Helen Baczkowska on 18 Dec, 2018
Beetlemania Beetlemania
by Chris Durdin on 13 Dec, 2018
The pride of Pigneys The pride of Pigneys
by Mark Webster on 04 Dec, 2018
Funding the day job Funding the day job
by Ginny Seppings on 20 Nov, 2018
In praise of ivy In praise of ivy
by Chris Durdin on 06 Nov, 2018
New wildlife information signs New wildlife information signs
by Steve Cox on 23 Oct, 2018
NWT's Visitor Centres NWT's Visitor Centres
by Steve Cox on 25 Sep, 2018
Seizing the moment Seizing the moment
by David North on 13 Sep, 2018
Red bartsia bee discovered at Thorpe Marshes Red bartsia bee discovered ...
by Chris Durdin on 06 Sep, 2018
Entranced by orchids Entranced by orchids
by David North on 07 Aug, 2018
Oasis in the drought: Thorpe Marshes in July Oasis in the drought: Thorp...
by Chris Durdin on 23 Jul, 2018
Volunteers Get Together at Weeting Heath Volunteers Get Together at ...
by Steve Cox on 20 Jul, 2018
Eye of the Shoal Eye of the Shoal
by Nick Morritt on 03 Jul, 2018
Norfolk hawkers at Thorpe Marshes Norfolk hawkers at Thorpe M...
by Chris Durdin on 26 Jun, 2018
10 reasons to love Norfolk 10 reasons to love Norfolk
by Jess French on 05 Jun, 2018