Thanks to some generous funding from Martin Stanley, one of Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Trustees, we are delighted to welcome Olivia Dullaghan to the team as our very first Visitor Management Officer. She will be out and about in our flagship nature reserves in the Avalon Marshes and Cheddar area, mainly at weekends and other busy times, inspiring people about the fantastic wildlife on our Nature Reserves, and answering visitors’ questions. She will also be running a programme of activities at a number of Reserves for individuals and families.
Tim Youngs, Director of Land Management, explains why the role is important: ‘We’re always surprised at the broad spectrum of visitors to our Reserves. There are some that return regularly across all seasons, and there are those that come specifically for events or guided walks. Whatever has brought them there, whatever level their wildlife knowledge and whatever their age, we want to make sure that people can navigate around the area, get interesting advice as to what wildlife to look out for, find out what we do as a Trust – and have fun! We think Olivia will add enormous value to local residents and visitors alike.’
Olivia comments, ‘Since starting with the Trust I’ve had the opportunity to visit most of our Reserves. Edford Meadow and Harridge Woods have to be two of my favourites for a woodland stroll, while Ubley Warren is perfect for relaxing on a summer’s day. I also love getting down to the Levels on the weekends for a spot of birding – and I’ve always got an eye out for the elusive Westhay Otter!’
Spring is a fantastic time of year to see Somerset landscapes at their most energetic; new life, new leaf and new sounds are all around – woods and meadows in flower, butterflies emerging and bittern booming. Visit the ‘Nature Reserves’ page on the Trust’s website to find a Reserve near you, or the ‘What’s On’ section to find an event to come along to. Connecting to nature is good for our health and wellbeing – come and be part of it!
Somerset Wildlife Trust has been protecting vulnerable wildlife and preserving wild places for over 50 years. We manage over 1,700 hectares of nature reserves, provide wildlife-friendly land management advice, campaign and educate to make sure Somerset remains one of the most wildlife-rich places in the UK. Our vision for the county is ‘an environment rich in wildlife for everyone’.The Trust is one of 47 in the UK – together they make up the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT). www.somersetwildlife.org.