It is astonishing how quickly eight months can go by, especially when you’re having a fantastic time, and what a fantastic time I have had at Coombes. This is my last week as Visitor Experience Officer at Coombes Valley and I’m going to really miss the place!

I have met some fantastic people at Coombes and being immersed in wildlife every day at work really cannot be beaten.  So for my last blog I thought I would mention a few of my highlights.

I couldn’t have hoped for more at the fairy village workshop. Everyone who came had so much fun and the creativity was incredible (from both children and parents!). It was often difficult to see who was having the most fun to be honest. It was great that everyone wanted to take their houses home too, giving fairies and nature a home in their garden. I know I had a fab time over this weekend and so did everyone else helping out. This was definitely one of my favourite events.

 

Adults, children and staff all loving the fairy village workshop - Katy Fielding

Great to see so many people enjoying themselves - Katy Fielding

My favourite event this year was the Forage Festival. Not only was it a fantastic event, with the greatest attendance for the year but it was also lovely to see the whole team come together and pull off a fantastic event. Autumn is my favourite season and it was great to celebrate its arrival in style.

Forage festival fun! - Katy Fielding

Now I couldn’t write about my Coombes best-bits without mentioning the incredible wildlife. Woodland wildlife can be very elusive so those special wildlife moments are all the more memorable. I always appreciate regular visits from the greater spotted woodpeckers, watching fledglings practice flying from young oak, to young oak in front of the Yurt was fantastic. On a fledgling note: watching the great tits fledge from the camera box outside the visitor centre was really special (on a weekend too – thanks little fledglings for pleasing so many visitors!).

Greater spotted woodpecker feeding a chick - Katy Fielding

Recently I’ve seen loads of fabulous fungi, heard red deer roaring and seen the woodland start to change in a blaze of colour. A woodland is a fantastic places to watch the seasons change. All of which makes it no easier to leave!

Fly agaric - Katy Fielding

There is so much I could say but I don’t want to bore people with my ramblings too much. All that is left to say is thank you. Thank you to everyone who came to a Coombes Valley event this year, multiple events, visited the reserve, liked or commented on our posts. I appreciate it all. Thank you to everyone I’ve met, to all the people I work with and those people who helped make all the events this year a success. Thank you to the RSPB. 

I am not leaving the RSPB. I am moving to Brighton to work in their office there. Such an exciting change for me! I leave you in the very capable hands of our Visitor Experience Intern, Becky. She’s got loads of exciting ideas to see the reserve and its visitors through the winter and well into spring. I may be leaving, but Coombes won’t be able to get rid of me! I plan to visit often and even attend the odd event. Watch out Valley tots!

 

Fun at Valley tots! I'm going to miss it! - Katy Fielding

Bye for now. xxx

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