Volunteer Spotlight: Tricia Dolamore

Blog post by Tricia on 10 Jan, 2024

My husband John and I moved to Norfolk in 1988. Whilst both originally being Essex people we have no desire to leave this lovely county. I now enjoy outside activities including walking with a local group and helping with habitat work at local conservations areas. While I do not consider myself a photographer I like to record any wildlife I see while out and about in the countryside. We have also been Norwich City season ticket holders for nearly 20 years.

Whenever friends visited us, Ranworth was always one of the places we introduced them to. They all seem to enjoy it, even those who have been multiple times and personally I never tire of visiting the reserve. My love of the outdoors was started by my Dad who was very much a man of the countryside. From an early age I was taken on walks in rural Essex as we had fields on our doorstep. In his later years Dad used a wheelchair and of course Ranworth was an ideal outing with the boardwalk allowing access right to the broad. We could look out and enjoy the view with an ice cream from the visitor centre.

Tricia Dolamore

Tricia Dolamore

Having reached retirement age I needed new interests and on a walk round Ranworth noticed a poster asking for volunteers. That was the start of several years giving time to a charity that has and still does give pleasure to me. I always had an interest in wildlife and by working with staff and volunteers, also listening to visitors, have gained more knowledge. One of the other volunteers who I have become friendly with is very active locally and I have now joined her as a footpath warden monitoring the Blofield area.

Experiencing the changing seasons at Ranworth is a pleasure, whether it is anticipating the arrival of the terns, listening for the cuckoo, seeing the first swallowtail or looking out for their caterpillars. This year the osprey has generated enthusiasm amongst local people and holiday makers, seeing a kingfisher puts a smile on visitors’ faces and the new hide has helped more people experience this. Then there is of course the occasional passing otter which usually brings great excitement.

My role could be described as a shop assistant - but what a shop! Visitors come in and are immediately faced with a view down the broad which changes all the time. The centre gives information on the creation of the broads, the wildlife and habit of the area, also provides appropriate retail items with an extensive book section for all ages. I find people often like to spend money with the charity for themselves or for gifts rather than pass the trade to a large retailer. There are of course the ice creams (other drinks and snacks are available).

I can certainly recommend volunteering with the Trust. I have enjoyed meeting other volunteers from different walks of life and spending time chatting to the visitors is great. It is rewarding being able to share such an interesting place with people who have similar interests, passing on my local knowledge and often getting ideas from them on places to visit in their part of the country.

Header image: Ranworth by Richard Osbourne

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