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!

Louise Walker - Visitor Experience Officer / Learning Officer 

I have distant memories of visiting RSPB Conwy as a child and receiving Wildlife Explorer magazines through the post. I also have slightly more recent memories of visiting as a teenager with my mum and grandparents whom I hold almost entirely responsible for my interest and love of nature.

I have always wanted to pursue a career in nature conservation, I just wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go in, so educating and inspiring the next generation to love and care for wildlife as I did as a child, seemed like a good place to start. Fast forward a few years and I began as Volunteer Learning Assistant Intern at Conwy in February 2018. Then followed a six-month whirlwind of learning, teaching, pond dipping, bird watching, bat detecting, occasional camping and generally being immersed in everything RSPB Conwy has to offer.

I felt like I was part of an extended family of staff and amazing volunteers from the very beginning and recall very shortly after I started, mentioning something about how much I love cake and Helen replying with; “you fit in very well here Louise!”. I soon came to realise just how much cake is consumed on a daily basis.

 I feel very lucky to be able to say I now work at RSPB Conwy as Visitor Experience Officer and (temporary) Learning Officer. I get to spend my working days in a beautiful place, with the most hardworking, dedicated and friendly group of people I have ever encountered, all while being surrounded by breath taking scenery and even more impressive wildlife. Some of my stand-out wildlife related memories from my time (so far) at Conwy include; coming face to face with a fox on the Ganol Trail, watching a stoat swim straight across the shallow lagoon, admiring a newly emerged Elephant Hawk Moth and stopping in my tracks as a Sparrowhawk shot through the trees right in front of me in pursuit of a pigeon.

I love everything about Conwy, it’s volunteers, staff, visitors and of course the wildlife. I continue to learn so much everyday about everything, from birds, to people, to flowers, to bugs and everything in between. The persistent wind and rain, occasional sunshine, laughter, cake and fantastic wildlife along with everything else make Conwy the special place it is. Happy 25th birthday Conwy, I can’t wait to see what the future brings!