Trevor Bareham, Steve Headley, Karen Thorpe, Roland Wells-Coyler, Ella White, Janet Rootes 2019
Trevor is a reserves volunteer/leader at the Kent Wildlife Trust and has volunteered for nearly 10 years as part of their Weald team. Trevor is known for going above and beyond expectations and is always willing to help if he can.
He has taken on more responsibility, leading tasks when staff are unable to, driving others and tools and materials to sites across the weald. He also provides logistical support, meaning people and tools are always in the right place for the tasks ahead. Trevor attends two tasks a week, and of those tasks, has been leading on one most weeks. He is passionate about improving the weald reserves and his regular volunteering week in week out, including tasks such as chain sawing, has helped to achieve a great deal on the reserves.
Trevor has great dedication to the Trust and specifically the reserves in the weald area, where he is making a noticeably great contribution.
Steve has shown exceptional commitment, dedication and enthusiasm for all aspects of conservation evidence over the last three years. He helps with surveys on reserves throughout the summer, and for the rest of the year he is in the office most Wednesdays tirelessly entering the data.
He has attended courses to enhance his plant identification skills to support KWT surveys, and often brings useful reports, articles and information to staff’s attention. In addition to survey data entry, he also uploads the records of the 60-80 wildlife recorders who collect records on the reserves, to the database. Data processing is not the most glamorous of tasks, but nonetheless Steve treats it with enthusiasm.
Steve makes a huge contribution to collecting and processing the data that’s collected on the condition of KWT’s reserves. He provides a vital role in supporting the use of data to understand the effectiveness of KWT’s reserve management. Steve’s commitment over several years, and reliability, mean that KWT have a trained member of the team who is always making progress with the huge task of data entry each season.
Karen has been an extremely enthusiastic volunteer with the Bee Roads team since the day she joined. In 2018, she attended almost all the plant and pollinator monitoring days, always fully dedicated to the task in hand. Similarly, she has been extremely helpful on practical habitat management tasks, come rain or shine, getting stuck in with brush cutting, raking and carting sacks of sand around to complete the bee banks.
Karen’s passion for volunteering is inspirational and has encouraged others to join the Bee Road volunteer team, which is essential to the success of the project. In 2018, Karen took on the role of Bee Roads Volunteer Warden on their site at Swale Way in Sittingbourne. Since then she has regularly visited the site, carrying out bumblebee transects, reporting any damage to the site and tirelessly litter picking.
She has picked up bumblebee identification very quickly and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with other Bee Road volunteers and the wider public. She has even started a second bumblebee transect at her local nature reserve. Since starting a full-time job in early 2019, she still manages to walk both transects and help with surveys on the Bee Roads on her days off, demonstrating her total dedication and passion to bee conservation.
Dedicated volunteers like Karen who help to manage and monitor the Bee Road sites are extremely valuable to Kent Wildlife Trust because it enables a larger area of land in Kent to be influenced by Kent Wildlife Trust for the benefit of wildlife, helping to safeguard populations of rare species.
Roland (Roly) is often encountered at Ham Fen or at Pegwell, a familiar figure with his camo gear, long lens and binoculars. Roly is not only an experienced and dedicated regular livestock checker across two different Sandwich reserves two days a week, he has been a butterfly transect surveyor too. He goes the extra mile – or ten miles – by compiling a weekly email reporting on the wildlife he’s seen on each visit to Ham Fen and Pegwell, with a focus on two of his passions: dragonflies and birds. The Roly Report is a chatty, good-humoured, informative ‘service’ that he provides as a generous bonus to his formal volunteering role. It is both useful to the warden team and inspiring and educative for everyone on its ever-expanding distribution list.
His encyclopedic knowledge, especially of dragonflies and damselflies, their life cycles and habits, is hugely impressive and freely shared. Roly’s cheeky, playful humour always lightens up inboxes, and his enthusiasm and his obvious love for KWT’s reserves is infectious. Recently, the way he has bounced back after recuperating from injury, throwing himself back into his volunteering roles, has been an inspiration to the KWT staff and volunteer team.
Ella has spent over a year volunteering her time weekly for the Hill at the Heart project based around the Old Park Hill Nature Reserve and the Dover Connector Project in Dover. The main project was funded by the Big Lottery for the Reaching Communities Fund and the project was delivered by a small staff team and a much-needed volunteer base. Ella was one KWT’s more active young volunteers with over a year’s worth of volunteering in the office supporting the team, out on the reserve helping the wardens or assisting the outreach team with events and stalls to engage the community to encourage them to restore the grass chalkland areas on their doorsteps.
Ella has shown fantastic organisational skills and communicates well with staff, volunteers and members of the public. Ella played an important role in supporting the team with planning events, often taking part in project meetings and taking an active role in discussions. When given tasks, Ella completes them with ease. Her overall input to the project has been received with great appreciation from her team. Not only has she actively worked to help and support the team, but she’s shown true resilience through tough situations. Ella is a calm and positive influence and remains undeterred, taking problems in her stride. She has been described as a true asset to the team.
Janet Rootes has undertaken the role of Programme Officer for the Sevenoaks Local Group since autumn 2010. In that time, she has successfully helped transform the fortunes of the Sevenoaks Local Group by producing programmes that have seen numbers increase year on year, with attendees coming back time and time again and giving constant positive feedback. This success had enabled the group to raise significant funds to assist their reserve in various projects over the period. At the same time Janet has dedicated her time to handle the refreshments bar at all the events, a role she has also carried out at the Sevenoaks Visitor Centre by volunteering for weekend duties in the past.
As well as her tremendous work with the Sevenoaks Local Group, Janet has been a regular volunteer in the Jeffery Harrison Visitor Centre, welcoming visitors, manning the café area and assisting with Kent Wildlife Trust events. She has made a significant contribution to the Local Group and to the KWT.