On 14 April 1995, after years of initial development, RSPB Conwy nature reserve opened it's gates to the public. Throughout April, we want to commemorate this milestone, and celebrate our 25th anniversary with you! As part of this celebration, we will be sharing what RSPB Conwy means to the people at the heart of the reserve - our fantastic staff (both past and present), and our amazing volunteers. Each blog has been written by various members of our team, as they share with us what RSPB Conwy means to them. We hope that you will enjoy these unique insights, and join us in celebrating 25 years of giving nature a home!Bob Evans - Volunteer
I have been visiting Conwy for over 25 years before finally having an opportunity to move to the area. From the early days of the Reserve’s existence I visited enthralled by it’s creation from the estuary. I was already volunteering with the RSPB in the Midlands and naturally transferred my volunteering to RSPB Conwy. What joy! The warm and friendly atmosphere from staff and fellow volunteers makes this a special place. Everyone is like family and look out for each other and share experiences and knowledge.
It amazes me how the Reserve has matured (probably into teenager years, it still has much more maturing to do) with the scrub thickening and the plants and reserve creatures colonising. Helping to add some of these records to the database is very rewarding. My favourite memories and experiences are from the sleepovers that occur on the Reserve. The memories and experiences it helps to create for children and families experiencing creatures and sounds from the evening, late at night and early morning dawn chorus is uplifting. Thank you RSPB Conwy, for giving me so many joyful experiences. Happy birthday!Sarah Money - Previous Reserve Warden (2010-2016)
Conwy has a special place in many people’s hearts, from volunteers to visitors to staff, and I’m no exception. For me, the real strength of the reserve is in the community that has formed around this small patch of land. It was created to encourage and protect the wildlife that has found a home here, but in doing so, has also formed a family of people who care deeply about the reserve. Whether this is the visitor who comes to enjoy the birds, children who love to play and to discover, volunteers who keep the reserve looking spick and span or help in the shop and coffee shop, or the wonderful staff who inspire and look after the visitors and manage the habitats, everyone is part of that unique family. The reserve has become more than simply a place for wildlife – many friendships have formed here amongst people with a common love for nature.
And behind all this lies the wonderful variety of wildlife to be seen. The best part of each day working on the reserve would be walking round the trails to open up or shut the hides. You never quite knew what you would see – a brilliant jewel of a kingfisher sitting on the water gauge in the Bridge Pond, hundreds of waders flying into the islands on the lagoons as they were pushed off the estuary by the rising tide, a flock of choughs calling noisily to each other as they flew overhead, a swirl of starlings coming in to roost on a crisp cold winter’s evening, a family of stoats playing hide and seek amongst the rocks on the estuary, a party of swifts screaming low along the Estuary Path, a group of wild ponies chasing each other in the sunshine, or a solitary song thrush singing its heart out from the top of a tree against bright blue skies. What better way is there to start your day?
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