Languard Nature Reserve Looking For Volunteers
The team at the Languard Nature Reserve offer a range of opportunities for people over 18, for which you do not require any specific skills:
Seal Watch – Grey seal and Common seal regularly haul out on our shores – it is part of their normal behaviour. They spend more time out of the water, digesting their food and resting than in it. Therefore, finding a seal on the beach does not mean there is a problem and healthy seals should be left alone.
Seal Watch volunteers play a very important role in protecting seals when resting on the Nature Reserve and helping the Ranger ensure they remain safe and undisturbed. As a Seal Watch volunteer, you will work in pairs for short durations, to help maintain a safe distance between the animal and visitors.
Beach Clean / River Clean – Litter picking – The team are committed to keeping the Reserve clean and free from litter, and especially plastic. Removing litter and plastics from the reserve is important because every piece of plastic and litter that we remove from the marine environment will not end up in the sea or harm marine animals or other wildlife.
Languard Nature Reserve aim to host at least four litter picking events each year and always need the support of volunteers.
Scrub management / bramble bashing – Bramble is a valuable habitat for nesting birds, invertebrates and small mammals but left unmanaged can develop into dense invasive thickets. They manage their bramble on rotation to ensure that the habitat is maintained at different stages of succession.
Bramble control takes place during autumn and winter and volunteer activities typically include cutting back / trimming bramble with hand tools (loppers) and removing all cuttings for burning.
Mowing and raking – Some areas of grassland are permanently fenced, and rabbit proofed to allow the vegetation to grow unhindered by trampling and rabbit grazing.
These areas are cut and raked after plants have flowered and set seed. After cutting the arisings are gathered with hay rakes and removed to ensure that thatch does not develop at the base of the sward.
Pond Maintenance – Currently there is only one pond at Landguard Nature Reserve which is fringed with marginal, emergent, and submerged vegetation that occasionally needs reducing to maintain an open water habitat.
When necessary, this type of activity takes place in the winter when fewer species are present and involves removing some of the vegetation by hand from the surface of the water and around its margins.
Fence Building & Repair, Boardwalk & Step Maintenance – Regular visitors to Landguard will be familiar with the permanent conservation areas, temporary cordons, boardwalks, paths, and steps that guide you around the reserve. All these fixtures need to be maintained throughout the year and sometimes replaced if they become too worn or damaged.
Special Projects – Occasionally the team needs assistance with special projects such as ground disturbance to encourage specific flora, creating temporary cordons to protect special areas, seed collection for habitat enhancement, education events and activities, tree planting and marram grass control. These activities will be scheduled as required and dates added to notice boards and social media.
Volunteering can be an incredibly rewarding task and provides a great opportunity to meet like-minded people. Whatever your knowledge, interests, or skills tehy would welcome your involvement! If you would like to become involved, please contact the Ranger at mailto:[email protected]