|Tomorrow’s Big Day|
|Tomorrow’s Big Day|
|It’s been all go for the last few weeks in the preparations of the Open Day, which is tomorrow – from 10 am to 4 pm. If we are lucky, the weather will be great. If we are not, it’ll be somewhere between not- okay and okayish. Last year’s Open Day was 27th November, and it rained hard all day and was cold and damp and quite unpleasant.|
We still made the tidy sum of over £400, which wasn’t bad, so hopefully, in September, we will make the same or more. It would be pretty disheartening to make less.
The Reserve has been without a warden now for roughly six weeks. It’s been five weeks since my application for the role of a part-time warden, and whilst l awarded that directly to the chairman, l haven’t even received an acknowledgement of it from him in all that period.
That is both disheartening and a little insulting. I know the position has never been advertised before, but still. Common courtesy and all. Many of the volunteers would like to see me in the post and have said l would be great for the job – but whilst that is flattering and nice to hear, they ultimately wouldn’t be the contractors hiring, whereas the committee would be.
This has had a knock-on effect on my motivations, admittedly, not hearing a thing from the top man even if to say, ‘Hey, thanks for the application, l will keep you informed.’ So whilst l love the Reserve, my visiting has also been reserved.
Typically it wouldn’t be unusual for me to visit Gazen Salts three to four times a week early mornings to take photos. However, the new average is maybe one visit every ten days.
To add to that, l have also been busy in other areas of my outdoor life – predominating the working week at present is Just Plot 17 [the name l opted for the allotment as it had a quirky ring to it]. This week has been busy, with everything else ongoing, so spending time ‘just’ walking and taking photographs hasn’t been on top of the agenda of ‘to do.
If l were made warden, l would make the time to fit everything in and prioritise and optimise all time slots but at this moment in time l haven’t been considered a viable possibility apparently and if that is not the case, no one is saying anything different from the top. I would love the chance to input to Gazen Salts and l have many ideas – however there is a lot of internal politics and this could make the position harder.
Whilst three members of the committe are supportive to my application even they are at the mercy of the chairman’s ultimate decision. A volunteer application to warden might not be considered acceptable and a new warden will be hired with not a whisper to me and if this happens l have made the decision to leave the Gazen Salts volunteer group.
Not a case of me throwing toys out of the pram but l think it will happen and nothing will be said to me because l am just a volunteer. That l will take as a direct insult and life’s too short to be insulted especially when you are giving your time freely.
But l do enjoy the Wednesdays so it would be sad. But l do have my reasons for saying this and have not expressed all the issues here today.
|Last week [14th] was the first rainy day, as in wet grounds and actual rain storms for around six months. Chatting to the other volunteers last Wednesday, we all commented how rather strangely, the Wednesday volunteer days are always lucky weather-wise.|
Thinking on it further, l started with Gazen back in June 2021, and in all that time, l can only count perhaps three days total where the Wednesday weather has been wet. We are fortunate indeed.
Last week l was occupied with a small team clearing the entranceway to Gallow’s Field for this coming Open Day and introducing the new feature to the Reserve – the Wilding Walk. Last Wednesday [21st], l was with an even more minor team clearing a much larger area of overgrown meadow and grassland.
You may recall we built ‘refugia’ in Gallow’s Field in the early part of this year in the spring. Well, they became overgrown as the last warden failed to keep them clear, so the task was to clear the way for a new one to be built, focusing on the Open Day as an educational display feature.
Both Wednesdays also witnessed me being bitten and stung by a host of winged menaces. Mosquitoes love me or love to hate me l am unsure which. Working in long grasses in humid weather and so close to the Guestling stream and spawning is ideal breeding grounds for these blood-sucking little horrors.
|I guess we will have to see how the day pans out tomorrow. A lot was needing to be done to the reserve and we haven’t had a full compliment of volunteers for months so we might be a little behind, however this is also a reserve without a full time resident warden. These things happen, time will tell.|
|Tales from Gazen Salts Nature Reserve is about my time and stories of my voluntary work with this project.|
I’ll see you next episode. Thanks for reading.
Gazen Salts Nature Reserve
Sandwich, Kent, England, UK