Acre Volunteering - Partnerships with the local community
Posted on 08 April 2014 by Bairbre
Andy, Michael, Andrew and I were tasked with the daunting job of taming a group of unruly trees at the WWT London Wetland’s Centre. The reserve is managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and occupies over 100 acres of lush land in south-west London.
We were greeted by bat connoisseur David Cowmeadow and long-term volunteers Anthony and Gayle. After getting booted and briefed we set out on our mission for the day, to prune and chop a group of trees in the car park. We spent the morning sawing, trimming, shouting timber and learning about the family of dedicated volunteers who have been contributing to the reserve for over a decade.
After our morning of tough work were rewarded with an entertaining show by the centre’s resident Asian short-clawed otters, followed by an informative talk and tour of the pond zone and sustainable gardens. We learned about the type of fauna and flora it boasts and the pivotal role it plays in conserving wonderful species such as elegant snews and American wood ducks.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon gathering chopped branches which are to be reduced to wood chippings and converted into energy.
Finally, we ended our day with a glorious walk through the wetlands where we encountered beautiful ducks, swans and geese and a well-deserved tipple in the nearby Red Lion pub.
I thoroughly enjoyed my day and it was incredible to know the work we undertook was both valued and actively contributed to the conservation of the reserve. Thanks to the WWT London Wetland Centre 14 Acre staff members had an enriching and educational experience, and we hope this will be the start of a long-term partnership.