Sunday, 20 June 2010

A weekend of volunteering

Sunday, 30th May 2010
It was a beautiful sunny day when I returned to Langdon today to finish the fence we had started putting up around the lake.  Mick, Dave and I completed the fence posts round the picnic table and then attached the wire backing along the length of it.  We attached it by hammering metal staples across the wire and into the posts.  It was a day of heavy duty hammering but by the time it was finished the fence looked excellent and would keep the dogs safe from the blue-green algae.

Monday, 31st May 2010

The next day I had my first experience of education volunteering.  I had applied for a part-time voluntary role as a Young Person's Discovery Zone Volunteer with the RSPB at Wat Tyler Country Park in Pitsea.  I was given an RSPB t-shirt and the most exciting bit of all was my badge!

I spent the day with Maria inviting people into the Discovery Zone to see what was going on.  The activities on offer all had a 'Springwatch' theme and I worked from 10am until about 4.30pm introducing kids to tadpoles, wildlife trails, a pond-dipping competition and the delights of owl pellet dissection. 

The tadpoles were kept in a big basin and there were hundreds of them.  They had already started to develop their back legs.  The kids were allowed to handle them, and I showed them how to gently scoop them up in their hands, and when to put them back carefully.  They were wriggly blighters.  I was pleased to see that pretty much every child that came in knew what a tadpole was and what it grew into. 

Unfortunately the nearby ponds are in need of a bit of work and the RSPB is trying to raise some money to do this, so our pond dipping activities were restricted to a kiddies paddling pool filled with cut-outs of animals and some fishing rods of bamboo construction complete with magnets. 

All the activities were free and there were small prizes given out for the pond dipping and also for successfully completing the nature trail.

During my lunch break I took a stroll round the garden and admired the flowers and investigated the nature trail that we were encouraging people to follow. 

I got slightly carried away taking pictures of flowers, as usual.