Volunteers are the life blood of charities such as the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and with over 35 years experience, ranging from wrestling with swans at catches to being a wetland bodyguard, Norman Ridley is a shining example and someone WWT Welney owes a great deal to.
“I was first asked to help on the reserve in the 1970’s, making sure that the carpeted main hide was respected without muddy boot marks and crumbs from sandwiches. If anyone broke the golden rules they were to be escorted offsite!” says Norman.
“Since then I have helped with a wide range of activities from helping with the car park and kitchen work to giving the swans their supper in the winter and helping with the research which happens at the swan catches!”
Volunteers are essential to WWT Welney and where better to spend your free time than enjoying the Fens and learning about its wetland wildlife whilst giving your time to help a charity. With a huge range of roles there is something for everyone; from those who like to engage with the public and help with events to those who want to connect with nature out on the reserve and those who want to help within the visitor centre.
Norman now plays a vital role in the experience our visitors receive at Welney by welcoming people to the site. His wealth of experience means that he is able to answer the range of questions fired at him and has seen many people who visited with their school in the past now bringing their own children for their first encounters with wildlife!
WWT Welney is always looking for volunteers to help with day to day activities to the events which the centre has become so famous for, the swan feeds. Click here to read more about volunteering at WWT Welney. Work parties can also volunteer at Welney as part of team building days away from the normal workplace, contact the centre on 01353 860711 to find out more.