Shepreth Wildfire Park (Stevenage Office)
On 29th March the majority of employees from our Stevenage Office went to Shepreth Wildlife Park for their first ever volunteering opportunity!
We were greeted with a very energetic zookeeper at 10am who inducted us and then we went around to our first task which was to scarify the prairie dog enclosure so that the donkey could return home as if she eats moss she will get an upset stomach. Unfortunately, no prairie dogs came up to say hello when we were working on their home. After lunch, we went back to the prairie dog enclosure where we continued working and then a few people were taken away from this spot to clean the Aardvark’s stones from algae.
At around 2pm we finished up our work for today and had a walk around the wildlife park. We then split into 3 teams for an animal experience. The choices were: Otters, Aardvarks or Capybaras. These experiences were amazing as we saw animals very up close and were able to feed them!
It was a very good day had by all and I am excited to see what other volunteering activities Stevenage get up to in the future.
Muiravonside (Linlithgow Office)
On 24th March some employees from our Linlithgow Office went to Muiravonside for our final corporate volunteering day of the Financial Year. One team were placing, filling and planting up our new planters in the farm and visitor courtyards and another team were dealing with the dirt mound that had to be bulked out with more soil and then seeds were to be spread. Overall, our team shifted more than 8 tonnes of soil and stone in the process!
We filled the planters with a lovely mixture of peat-free perennials which will provide lots of colour throughout the year and will also offer food for pollinators like bees and butterflies.
One of the main planters we filled up was a memorial to a horse that had recently passed in 2021. Hamish was a Clydesdale who was a visitor favourite and had lived at the farm for over 16 years.
We were also able to have a walk around the farm and learn some facts about the animals that they housed, feed some goats and pet some horses!
At lunch, entertainment was provided by Stathis who tried Irn Bru for the first time after being in Scotland for over a year!
“Had a great day with the team at Muiravonside. There were a lot of different areas to be worked on, but we grabbed our shovels, rakes and wheel barrows and got stuck in! Shovelling and transporting more than 8 tons of both topsoil and gravel, meant the day was filled with a lot of hard work, sweat but most of all, lots of laughter! Looking forward to visiting there again in a few months to see how all the plants and seeds have grown…perfect excuse for a team picnic” – Debbie Holmes
Ulster Wildlife, Bog Meadows (Belfast Office)
On Friday 31st March, Pearl, Madara, Adrian and myself, took a trip up to the Bog Meadows in West Belfast for a day of volunteering, specifically planting tiny trees! From 10:00 – 15:00 we went round the wetland/bogland planting Hawthorne and Blackthorne baby trees to fill the gaps where some fires had destroyed part of the surrounding bush.
Ulster Wildlife have 19 nature reserves from woodlands to inner-city sanctuaries, Bog Meadows is 19 hectares that has a network of walking trails surrounding a species-rich meadow, reedbeds, ponds and hedgerows.