Rutland Water Nature Reserve has a highly committed team of over 500 volunteers. It’s no understatement to say that they’re all absolutely vital to the running of the reserve. Volunteers from all walks of life, ages and abilities are involved in every aspect of its day to day life, from welcoming visitors at our two centres, to the practical management of habitats and monitoring the variety of birds and other taxa found here. Our biggest public event, Birdfair, which is held annually from the third Friday of August for 3 days, is also our biggest volunteering event. It relies on over 300 volunteers to sell tickets, run lecture theatres, sell merchandise, and act as stewards. A 500 strong team might sound pretty big – but we’re always looking for extra pairs of hands to help us maintain our “Britain’s favourite nature reserve” status.
There’s so much more to volunteering at Rutland Water than simply making a difference to our organisation and its work. Whilst it’s an incredible way to help us, it’s immensely rewarding for our volunteers as individuals. Rutland Water Nature Reserve is a community, volunteering unites people from different backgrounds and builds camaraderie – it’s a great way to make friends and socialise with like-minded people. We watch our volunteers grow in confidence, self-esteem and empathy towards others and there is a huge sense of pride and identity from our teams. Volunteering keeps the blues and bay and makes you healthier. It’s an opportunity to gain new skills and share talents with others. And for many, it’s a much needed escape from the norm.