As someone interested in conservation, I am perhaps not alone in having a slight natural aversion to cities. Buses, commuters, sirens, the rat race – not really my cup of tea. Probably because I grew up far away from it in the picturesque countryside of Dumfries and Galloway. Having spent many enjoyable years exploring wild woods and ancient oaks, I suddenly found myself having to understand the urban jungle.
Residential Volunteering: Winter at Frampton – Amy Robjohns
I’m halfway through a six-week stint as an RSPB residential volunteer (February 2017). The accommodation is a very short walk from the reserve – Frampton Marsh, on the edge of the Wash estuary in Lincolnshire. It’s a fantastic site, with thousands of wildfowl and wading birds filling the wet grassland and scrapes.
At the beginning of 2016 I wrote a post for the AFON blog where I talked about 2016 being the year I really got to know a site – a year of the patch. Well that year is now over so I thought I should look back and update you all on how it went.
I joined my first AFON meeting when we went to the wonderful Knepp, located in West Sussex. This is a site that used to be farmland, but field-by-field has been given over to a rewilding project. We were all staying in tents in the summery meadow though didn’t get much sleep as there was too much to do!
As I stood in the middle of Poole Harbour at dusk, the ‘churring’ began. It was the second time in as many nights I had heard this magical, almost alien sound reverberating across the otherwise tranquil heathland. Perhaps I should explain that this habitat had not simply erupted from the sea bed; I was listening to these wonderful nightjars of Brownsea Island.
Island sanctuary bringing birds back from the brink – Oliver Simms
All we often hear about in conservation is one bad news story after another as more habitats are destroyed and more species go extinct. Today, however, I am going to do something different and talk about a real conservation success.
Sophie May has had a passion for the natural world since early childhood. Now a writer and photographer of natural history and countryside subjects, living in a historic market town in the centre of the South Downs National Park, the countryside of West Sussex and surrounding counties provide much inspiration for Sophie May’s work. Sophie May is building a career in Conservation, currently working for the RSPB on a Heritage Lottery Funded Traineeship (ending September 2014), through which she is grateful to be able to share her passion for nature, experiencing wildlife and its conservation, with others. Photographing butterflies and flowers, gardens and animals, landscapes and wildlife, is something Sophie May particularly enjoys, whilst much of her writing is creative, descriptive and poetic, exploring the way words work and sound, and the power of imagery. To read more of Sophie’s writing visit her website (http://www.sophieco.co.uk), or you can follow her on Twitter (@SophiEcoWild).
Amy Robjohns is a second year Environmental Science student at the University of Southampton. She has been interested in nature from a young age, especially birds, but developed a greater interest in bird watching when she was 12. More recently, Amy realised that a career in conservation was what she wanted to do so has been a trainee bird ringer since 2012, and is working towards a C permit. She also began volunteering for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust in 2013 for 6 months as part one of the conservation work parties, something she plans to continue outside of term time.