Volunteers help out a nature reserve

A group of volunteers has been helping at a local nature reserve.

Nine volunteers from phone company EE helped with cutting back reeds around the pools at Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve.

Samantha Phillips, Natural Environment Officer with North Somerset Council said: “The group contacted me after seeing our article in North Somerset Life and posters on site about volunteering opportunities at the reserve.  As part of their company initiatives they aim to do a couple of days volunteering in the community a year and as one of them lives locally to the reserve they were keen to get involved here.

“We have a long list of winter works to be carried out on the site with one of the most important being selective reed management around the pools. This is a big job and we value the input from volunteers, and this has been the focus of our latest volunteer days.”

Chris Hann, EE Senior Manager – Technology, was one of the volunteers and said: “After seeing local advertisements for volunteers required at the Portbury Wharf Nature reserve, I was put in contact with Iain Macfarlane, the local warden.

“A few emails later, organising dates/times/details, our volunteering group arrived on site in late November for a session of clearing reeds at one of the larger bird ponds.

“Iain was extremely well organised, giving us an initial talk about the reserve and the local nature, as well as health and safety info and a brief on how to use the tools involved on the day. This helped to ensure we would get the best out of our volunteering time – he was also on hand to supply a regular amount of tea, coffee and biscuits!

“After several hours of clearing the reeds in the area we had set out to achieve at the start of the day, we retired to our cars with aching muscles, filthy clothes but a tremendous sense of achievement.  Our team had a fantastic and rewarding day, working hard to help the local environment at the reserve, also supporting local wildlife in a beautiful setting – who could ask for more?

“We definitely recommend it to anyone, as it was a great opportunity for us at EE to give something back to the local community and we hope to come back and volunteer again in the future.”

Sam Phillips added: “This was a labour-intensive job and we rely on the invaluable assistance of volunteers to complete these tasks.

“The next volunteering day we have organised is on Tuesday 20 December from 9.30am to 12.30pm.  We’ll be cutting and removing encroaching vegetation in different parts of the site to protect some of the valuable habitat found at the reserve. We will provide gloves, tools and refreshments: wellington boots may be advisable!”

Find out more at www.facebook.com/PWNRvolunteers