Buckinghamshire’s wildlife volunteers honoured by Wildlife Trust

Volunteers at the College Lake visitor centre and nature reserve near Tring, and a conservation volunteer who leads a work party at Finemere Wood near Quainton were honoured at the AGM of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust on Saturday 15 October.

The College Lake Wildlife Garden Group was runner-up in the Volunteer Group of the Year. The group meets every Wednesday to look after this area special area at College Lake with a lot of love and care. The Wildlife Garden is always buzzing with insects, full of colourful plants and flowers, and attracts many birds. It is inspiring for visitors who also want to garden for wildlife. The group, which is made up of long-standing and newer volunteers, is self-sufficient and self-led, taking care of everything, including propagating plants in their own gardens and greenhouses.

Two members of the Wildlife Gardening Group, Sylvia O’Brien and Gay Erskine-Walker, received the certificates from Sir Clive Booth, chair of BBOWT Trustees, at the AGM.

Runners-up in the individual Volunteer of the Year Awards were:

Ann Davies also received her certificate at the BBOWT AGM. Ann is a relatively new volunteer at College Lake, meeting and greeting thousands of people who visit the nature reserve. She supports our outside events and has recruited several new members for BBOWT, as well as setting up and editing a volunteers’ newsletter.

Simon Jackson also volunteers at College Lake. He’s one of those people who’s absolutely essential to the beauty of the nature reserve. He created a new role as volunteer warden to keep the reserve in tip top condition, looking after the bird hides, checking and repairing fences, gates and seating.

Charlotte Karmali coordinates the Finemere Wood work party, one of the most popular in Buckinghamshire, and it isn’t only down to her gorgeous cakes! The group meets twice a month to carry out important restoration of this woodland which is part of the Bernwood Forest. Charlotte also writes a blog on the BBOWT website describing the benefits for wildlife that this enthusiastic group has achieved.

More than 1,400 volunteers, the equivalent of 75 full-time staff, help the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust look after 86 nature reserves across the three counties.

Full details of all the Volunteer of the Year Awards on http://www.bbowt.org.uk/news/2016/10/17/bbowt-volunteers-honoured-trusts-agm-0