Broadcaster 2021

Project news 39 I think there is nothing better than being in the

middle of nowhere mowing or reed cutting and looking at the superb colours in the skies and all around me. I love it. I have developed my skills in chainsaw work as well strimming and mowing so I am getting as much out of volunteering as I am off ering. There are so many memories. One time, we were

working in the reed bed opposite How Hill when we saw all the ducks on the water in one place (suggesting an otter around) and then it came out of the water and walked past us in the hide where we were sitting, about six feet away. Couldn’t buy that experience. Challenges and humour are also very much part of volunteering. A challenge? I was working replacing the boardwalk in Hoveton and we were shifting material by wheelbarrow, which because of the height of the water was more like underwater wheelbarrowing. A humorous incident? Watching a colleague put his noodles for lunch into his coff ee thermos and not the water thermos.

Martin Mills I took early retirement from my role as a Sales Director and then worked as a trip boat operator at Wroxham and in local hotels. I’m now a Ranger Volunteer with the Lower Bure and Thurne ranger team. I saw a Broads volunteering ad in the Broad Sheet newsletter (sent out with tolls invoices), put my name forward and have volunteered ever since. The main reason was to see more of the Broads.

I’d lived here for 20 years but realised I didn’t know many parts of the Broads very well. I enjoy getting out patrolling on the launches, but my favourite time is the winter, when the teams move to more practical conservation projects out on the fens and marshes. The camaraderie of volunteering makes for a really fun day out. It has also increased my fi tness and I’ve started running. I’ve visited places I wouldn’t have known about

or wouldn’t have been able to visit outside the volunteering role and we get to see lots of wildlife – marsh harriers and bitterns. But one of my favourite spots was when we saw six otters, including three babies, right in the middle of the river. Most people have never seen one otter, never mind six at the same time.

Volunteers in Hoveton

Nicky Talbot I have a variety of jobs at the moment, or as they now say, a ‘portfolio’ career, including working for Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Delia's Canary Catering team. As a volunteer I’ve checked ponies, done bittern surveys and fen clearance, and talked to visitors at the Royal Norfolk Show. The opportunities are wide ranging, you get out of it what you put in. I have gained skills in brush cutting and boat handling, and knowledge of plants and wildlife. Volunteering is also an ideal an opportunity to give something back. My fi rst day as a volunteer epitomises what I was

Nicky Talbot

looking for. We were outside all day, getting dirty and up to our knees in reeds and water. There was much laughter, banter and a great feeling of well-being. I also learnt a lot about fungi and fen management. I never did any woodwork at school but this

did not deter the team from helping me gain knowledge. The hand holes at the moorings next to the Swan Inn at Horning are a testament to this. While safely dangling from a work boat, I helped create, chisel, shape and make good. I always have a sense of pride when I see the hand holes as we go by. Reedham Hill at How Hill is special to me. In

February 2014 we were chopping up one of the pine trees that had blown down in a gale. It was a beautiful morning, sun shining, with a smell of fresh pine needles. I received a call from my daughter telling me she had passed her medical exams, ready to start her career as a doctor. Tears in my eyes and a beamy smile were met with many congratulations from my colleagues. how-you-can-help/volunteering


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