An open letter to the North West Norfolk volunteers during Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June). Thank you from all of us, for everything.  

To someone special,

At our North West Norfolk reserves we would usually celebrate Volunteers’ Week with hearty big thank yous at our morning team briefings. Together we would tell stories and reminisce about those we have come to know and love; laughing together and connecting with each other through our shared wonder of nature and desire to be around others who also delight in the natural world.

I imagine we would be sharing lots of cake, baked by both staff and volunteers. Someone is bound to have managed four slices by lunchtime.

Given the current coronavirus pandemic, we can’t do any of that this year, but I want you to know that the generous giving of your time, skills and knowledge continues to astound me – even during lockdown the number of offers of virtual support was remarkable.

The roles you do are so varied from preparing delicious meals in the hot kitchen, advising visitors on the right bird food in the busy shop, welcoming and orientating visitors across the reserve, carrying out estate and reserve maintenance, usually knee deep in freezing cold water!

With you in the team the welcome areas buzz with anticipation as visitors are greeted; the shop and café bustle with cheeriness as you serve our visitors the most delicious cheese scones and bird care items; the trails and hides are alive with intrigue as you point out a wasp spider in its intricate web beside the path or a bittern camouflaged in the reed. The reserve is alive with your energy.

Put simply: we could not do the work we do without you.

So, to you I say thank you. Thank you for your warmth, integrity and kindness. Thank you for your selflessness. Thank you for giving your time to help us continue to save nature.

With all my best wishes,

Hayley.

Senior Sites Manager

North West Norfolk Reserves

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