Meet Steve Milner, Grounds & Gardening Volunteer

Volunteers play a key part in supporting WWT. With our Volunteering Week coming up, we caught up with some of our volunteers to find out why they started volunteering and their experiences so far.

Steve Milner, Grounds & Gardening Volunteer, has volunteered with WWT Martin Mere since 2016. Here is what he had to say about his time volunteering with us:

"Having spent a career in the NHS and higher education sectors, retirement gave me a valuable opportunity to spend more time outdoors. I had only visited Martin Mere once before retirement but this made it an obvious choice to enquire about, and apply for, a volunteer opportunity.

An informal chat with the Head Ranger was arranged and it soon became clear that working as a member of the grounds & gardening volunteer team for one full day per week was exactly the opportunity I was looking for. It was explained to me that it included hands on experience with the birds and wildfowl and working to maintain and manage the appearance of the extensive vegetation, trees, fencing and paths to enhance the front-of-house appearance and natural wellbeing across the entire and very extensive WWT Martin Mere site.

As a volunteer I have become a valued member of the team, carrying out much the same kind of tasks as the full-time staff, enabled and supported by free mandatory practical training in the safe use of strimmers, brush cutters and ride on mowers and safely driving four wheel drive vehicles. In addition to the training on the use of machinery, an electronic learning programme (also free and accessible from home) has provided the necessary knowledge and skills on essential aspects of the role, including public relations, manual handling and safe use of hazardous substances.

In summary, my experience of volunteering at Martin Mere has, and after 7 years continues to be, a highly enjoyable and rewarding one. The work can be physically demanding at times, as it includes working outside in all weathers, on the coldest of winter and hottest of summer days, but there is little to compare with the privilege of witnessing the sights and sounds of the mere and grounds at the start and end of a hard day, working with nature in a green, wetland environment shared with its amazing variety of interesting inhabitants".

Volunteering Week

During Volunteer Week on 24 Feb - 1 March, drop in between 1pm - 3pm each day to talk to our team about volunteering. We have a range of volunteering roles available with no expert knowledge needed - just a keen interest in people and wildlife and a ‘can-do’ attitude.

Find out more

  • Share this article