My name is Kate Cave and I am a volunteer and Marine Champion for Lancashire Wildlife Trust working alongside both Living Seas North West and the Fylde Sand Dunes projects. I have been volunteering on these projects for almost 5 years now, and it has been a really enriching experience for me; especially after retiring a few years ago... in fact I don’t know how I ever found time to work!
My experience as a Marine Champion
There is a tremendous amount of positive work done by environmental organisations in our region, our country and throughout the world, and we should shout about it from the rooftops.
The staff from Lancashire Wildlife Trust have passed on a tremendous amount of knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm to me. This has enabled me to explore the coast with local people and explain just how important they are in helping to protect our wonderful coastal habitats and the natural resources they provide for our community.
I have spent many happy hours on the beach at St Anne’s discovering the amazing creatures to be found there. What’s not to like about turning out on the mudflats of the Ribble Estuary with 200 children and adults; to see the wonderment on their faces as clumps of mud in a sieve reveal a myriad of wriggling invertebrates that support so much wildlife. I enjoy encouraging parents and children alike to find strange objects washed up on the shore that hint at the rich marine life that lives in the Irish Sea. I really enjoy teaching children and nurturing young minds, encouraging them to take ownership for their local coastline as they grow.
I really enjoy teaching children and nurturing young minds, encouraging them to take ownership for their local coastline as they grow.
It has been a marvellous experience for someone like me who loves the outdoors. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the staff from Lancashire Wildlife Trust who: organise all these events; support myself and other volunteers; provide us with everything we need and; are very positive about our efforts.
I’ve worked in the voluntary sector and as a volunteer throughout my life. My motivation early on came from being involved in my local church and with the Girl Guide movement. I’ve seen volunteering from both sides and I can honestly say that The Wildlife Trusts are exceptionally good organisations to volunteer for. Your voluntary role is very much needed and they look after you because of that; they induct you, encourage you, train you (and even feed you!), and make you feel a valued and valuable member of the organisation.
Being part of an organisation, even as a volunteer, can make you feel empowered to do your bit and help to make a difference.
Last October I was privileged to receive two awards at Lancashire Wildlife Trust's annual volunteer conference. Firstly, as part of a wider team, myself and my fellow volunteers were awarded the 'Wildlife Champions' award for our help and dedication towards leading coastal guided walks on the Fylde Coast. It was lovely to receive this award and made me feel very proud to be part of the team!
Secondly, I personally received an award from the Marsh Christian Trust for my contribution towards marine conservation in the UK. This Award is run in partnership with The Wildlife Trusts, and recognises a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to marine conservation and who has furthered the work of the Wildlife Trusts in this area. It really was a very great honour to receive this award and I felt very humbled to be chosen as so many people across the UK are doing great work volunteering in so many areas.
We live in very scary times for our planet. It’s right that the impacts of climate change and loss of biodiversity are in the headlines so often these days. But I also think that the tremendous amount of positive work done by environmental organisations in our region, our country and throughout the world, should be shouted from the rooftops. We, as individuals, can feel paralysed by the enormity of the challenges ahead. But being part of an organisation, even as a volunteer can make you feel empowered to do your bit and help to make a difference. So my advice to you would be to sign up, turn up and just give it a go!