Trustee and Education Committee Member

I have lived in nearby Deal since long before it became fashionable and work locally as a Civil Servant.  I joined Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory in about 1992 after I moved to Kent from Essex. In that time I have been a regular visitor to the Obs – mainly for birding but more recently to also develop an interest in moth trapping and try and improve my very poor moth ID skills. I have had a number of birding highlights at the bay over the years including hearing, but not seeing, a calling Corncrake in the early nineties but faring better in actually seeing a Quail before I heard it once!  Other highlights are too many to mention but would include the two Barn Owls I enjoyed watching on Restharrow Dunes about two hours before writing this!

I have become more and more firmly of the view that the future of the Obs and the value of the wildlife data it records needs to be secured in the longer term. To do that I strongly believe we need to look to the younger generation and encourage a more diverse membership to participate. It is only when I go birding that there is a realistic prospect of my being the youngest person in a room (or hide!) - that cannot be healthy for wildlife in Kent.  The absence of nature in the lives of so many of our young people is also, in my view, not healthy for them as they miss out on the benefits that wildlife, migration and the appreciation for the seasons that an understanding of nature brings.

With this in mind (and having seen how much my youngest child benefitted from WEX) I agreed to volunteer as an assistant leader with Wildlife Explorers and Phoenix groups. While I have no background in education at all I have enjoyed doing this and encouraging some of the exceptional young naturalists in the group.

As a Trustee I hope I can support the rest of the team in developing the Obs and the work it does and in attracting a younger and more diverse membership to this unique organisation.

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