Thursday, 19 October 2017

Making conservation engaging - a volunteer view

Guest blog post by volunteer Jackie Wragg

A crucial part of any conservation effort is public engagement. Over the summer I have volunteered with Moors for the Future Partnership to aid them in this effort. Is my motivation totally selfless? Not at all. Although I take great fulfilment from raising awareness and inspiring people to value the habitats and rally for the cause it isn’t the only benefit. It’s the invaluable experience to hopefully lead me into my future career in a rewarding role in conservation. This experience is the key to my dream job!

Comma butterfly photograped at Longshaw Estate
The unaccommodating yet spendid Green Leafhopper!
Over the summer Moors for the Future Partnership performed a “takeover” of the Moorland Discovery Centre at the Longshaw Estate every Thursday. Volunteering here gave me the opportunity to set up and run a range of activities many of which were aimed at engaging children in the different species that can be found in our local uplands.
The staff are so appreciative of the help and keen to listen to new ideas and put them into practise. The chance to be part of a team setting up an engaging experience for members of the public is something I would not have access to without volunteering. Not to mention the chance to take children out on a bug hunt in the surrounding area and the opportunity for a spot of wildlife photography at the same time. I have developed a serious obsession with getting the perfect picture of the beautiful yet unaccommodating Green Leafhopper (Cicadella viridis) thanks to seeing so many of them during my time at the Moorland Discovery Centre. They’re so quick it’s almost impossible to capture their splendidness on camera!
In addition to this “Bogfest”; an event I was truly proud to be a part of. I was chosen to provide a port-of-call for visitors to this international gathering in partnership with the IUCN at the Moors for the Future Stall. This was a fantastic opportunity to network with people working within the field and also provided some experience of working to engage different audiences such as professionals and landowners.

I intend to do much more volunteering for Moors for the Future. There is no doubt that people who volunteer are valued greatly and I look forward to more events where I can be a part of the Moors for the Future mission.

No comments:

Post a Comment