Friday, 27 March 2020

A Day in the life (when not on lockdown)

We ask that people do not visit the Reserve particularly if you have to travel. All car parks on Holy Island are closed to visitors until government restrictions are lifted. Many residents on Holy island fall into the vulnerable category. Please adhere to these guidelines for the health and safety of yourself and others during this time.

As we are currently all on lockdown and try to get use to our new ‘normality’. I will be posting a blog alphabet series about Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve with a new article each day relating to a letter. Hopefully, this will leave you with a bit more information about Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve all from the safety of your armchair. So what better place to start than with the letter A.
Many people think that working on a Reserve involves just walking around with a pair of binoculars and a notebook. Granted we do, do this on occasion for important monitoring work but it makes up a tiny part of what we do. The job at Lindisfarne NNR is so much more than this.
I know that it’s very cliché but the first thing to note is that no two days are alike. This is banded around quite freely in many lines of work but I feel that there are few occupations that this applies to more than a Manager of a Reserve.
The remit is huge. There is a certain degree of seasonality to work on the Reserve with the coming and goings of wildlife on migration. Our habitat management work is largely undertaken during winter to avoid disturbance of ground nesting birds such as Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. The management work includes invasive species removal, vital fencing work, scrub removal and litter picking as a starter with other practical work taken on in relation with projects that are ongoing. We then evidence all this work to make sure that it is having the desired effect and meets the criteria that is laid out in the management plan.

Grass raking with our volunteers
During the summer months staff and volunteers carry out a vast array of surveys and monitoring to better understand the Reserve and the biodiversity that lies within it. The big project within this is our breeding shorebird protection scheme which I will come onto later in this blog series. The data collected is analysed and fed back into future management plans. We ensure that all this work is completed causing minimal disturbance.
Outreach and education is an important aspect of our work whether that be through informative signage or delivering our packed events programme. Most weeks through spring, summer and autumn we will be holding either a craft event or a guided experience. Sadly, our 2020 programme is currently on hold until further notice. Some of time is spent managing the large amount of people who visit the Reserve. Up to 700,000 people visit the Reserve annually, all with different interests. It is our job to make sure people adhere to the byelaws on the Reserve. The byelaws can be found on this website under the codes of conduct tab.

Event in full swing

Believe it or not there is a large amount of office work involved in Reserve work as we have to comply with all health and safety regulations, working with budgets, delivering complex projects, planning events, designing merchandise, publishing articles, analysing data that has been collected and other administration asks.

This is just a snippet into the diverse range of work we embark on. It really is a job that you have to be able to turn your hand to anything

Helping to manage Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve is a privilege. We have the ability to make a positive change to the biodiversity of the site and the way in which people interact with it. It can be an extremely challenging job at times but ultimately very rewarding. 

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