Norfolk Wildlife Trust volunteers enjoyed a visit to Weeting Heath, a fish and chip supper and heart-felt praise at a special get-together.
A coach took 66 people – who give their time freely in visitors’ centres, on reserves and at head office – to NWT Weeting Heath which is renowned as a haven for stone curlews and rare Brecks plants. Guided walks on the reserve were led by Brecks Reserves Manager Jonathan Preston and Warden James Symonds before volunteers had time to socialise over their fish and chips.
Earlier in the afternoon, the volunteers were thanked for their contribution to the work of the Trust in short speeches by Chief Executive Pamela Abbott, Volunteer Coordinator Alan Marchbank and Head of People and Wildlife David North. Alan shared some statistics on the hours contributed by volunteers in 2017 and said it was the equivalent of having 30 extra full-time members of staff. David spoke about international, national and local conservation and how they are linked. And he had a tip for volunteers: “Don’t ever stop getting out and enjoying nature. “Because it is your enthusiasm for nature that will inspire others to support the work of the Trust. Enthusiasm is contagious, I really believe that. Nature needs lots more people to care for it and you are the best ambassadors.” David ended his talk by pointing to the need for optimism at a time when there seemed to be a lot of bad news in the world. Many good things were happening and, as volunteers, they were part of a global movement trying to change our relationship with nature.
Steve Cox is on secondment as an NWT volunteer as part of John Lewis Partership Golden Jubilee Trust