Bucks Nature Reserve to Hold Volunteer Open Day

Living Magazines Bucks Nature Reserve

A local nature reserve which recently had a starring role in the BBC’s Countryfile is holding its first open day for people to find out more about volunteering opportunities.

Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) is inviting people to join the open day at its College Lake nature reserve near Aylesbury on Tuesday 8 February.

Visitors will get to go on a guided walk around the beautiful site and meet volunteers who already work in the visitor centre, shop and café, meeting and greeting, helping the education team with school visits and doing practical conservation work to help to maintain the vast nature reserve for wildlife.

College Lake and some of the teenage volunteers who help there recently had a starring role in Countryfile’s Review of the Year episode in early January. Now the Trust is inviting anyone who wants to get some unique work experience, give something back, or who just loves wildlife, to come and find out more about what a rewarding experience the existing volunteers have.

College Lake Visitor Centre Manager Toyah Baulk said: ‘We rely on volunteers to give all our visitors the best experience possible, but we very rarely have open days when people can speak to our current volunteers in such detail as this and also meet other people interested in signing up.

‘We have people of all ages helping us here, from teenagers to retirees: you don’t have to know anything about nature or running a visitor centre – we’ll give you all the training you need. All we need from you is that you are passionate about lending a hand, willing to learn some great new skills and keen to make some fantastic new friends.’

The open day will consist of two sessions: the first running from 10.30am to 12noon, and the second from 2pm to 3.30pm. People are invited to join one or the other.

All the attendees will be given a warm welcome and an introduction to BBOWT and College Lake, then set off on a guided tour around the areas of the reserve where volunteers help out, where they will be able to meet current volunteers and ask them any questions they like.

As they go around, attendees will be encouraged to make a note of which areas they might be interested in working in. At the end of the tour there will be a chance to have a drink and something to eat in the café, and also talk more with staff, volunteers and with other attendees about the opportunities on offer.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering is welcome to come along, but places are limited so booking a spot is essential. To book your place now or to find out more, please email collegelake@bbowt.org.uk.