Written by Dani Moore
RSPB South Stack is one of the RSPB’s most well known reserves, and I have been lucky enough to get a place as a residential volunteer here for a whole three months!
Residential volunteers stay on site at the reserve in a fantastically quaint cottage, completely free of charge, and with views of the cliffs, the coastal paths, the ocean and mountains, who can complain?!
The work starts from day one, which is fantastic, especially if you are here for a short stay. My typical day can have me doing a variety of different tasks and activities so I have listed what a possible day for a residential volunteer may look like:
8am – Up and ready! No crazy 6am starts for me!
9am – Out of the house to take a gentle stroll towards the mountain or around the coastal path to get an idea of what wildlife is about for the visitors.
9:30am – Into the office. Where I get a warm (and sometimes sleepy) welcome from the rest of the staff who are getting ready for the day ahead. This is usually where I find out what the day has in store for me.
10am – Litter Pick. It may sound like a dull job but it is an excellent opportunity to get out and about on the reserve and chatting to some of the wonderful visitors we have!
11am – Ellin’s Tower. This is our very own observation tower, filled with scopes, binoculars, information and a fantastic view of South Stack lighthouse and the amazing sea bird colony; it really is a feast for the eyes! This is where we chat to our visitors, do our best to answer any questions they have, and of course if anyone would like to become a member of the RSPB, they can do so here!
12pm – Lunch time. A marvellous chance to sample the food in the cafe at the visitor centre, freshly made, with locally sourced products, it’s hard to say no to really?!
1pm – Visitor centre. A chance to greet the visitors and let them know what fantastic events we have coming up on the reserve; such as Guided Walks, Optics events, Sheep sheering, Treasure hunting; all in which volunteers get an opportunity to get involved with!
2pm – Video editing. Editing the footage from our bird cameras; very exciting stuff, you get to be the first person to witness very moving events, from Razorbills laying an egg to chough chicks gaping for food for the first time!
3pm – Events organising. An excellent chance to get those creative juices flowing!
5pm – Home time. The day has flown by so quickly but now, with a little free time I may go for a wander over to the Range and the rest of the reserve to spy out some weird and wonderful creatures, occasionally catching glimpses of seals, and the very popular Spathulate Fleawort plant, which grows endemically here on Anglesey!
I have now been here for about six weeks, making me half way through my stint as a residential volunteer, and I have to say that my experience here has been second to none; the work can be hard at times but the rewards are well worth it and I cannot wait to see what the next six weeks has to hold!
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