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Minsmere Young Wardens

Are you a teenager looking for a career in conservation, or wanting to spend some outdoors with like-minded young people? Then join us every month for our popular Young Wardens group. You'll undertake a variety of habitat management or wildlife surveying activities, helping us to keep Minsmere in the perfect condition for all sorts of rare wildlife. And, more importantly, you'll have fun and meet new friends.

This group usually meets on the third Saturday of the month at 10 am, but some meetings are moved to avoid clashes with school holidays.


How do I book?

Please email to reserve your place as we will need to send you some forms to complete.

Who is the group aimed at?

The group is aimed at anyone between the ages of 13- 18 years, who has an interest in nature and the environment.

When and where are we meeting?

Usually on the third Saturday of the month, 10 am to 1 pm at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve. The group may meet at other local reserves, for example Westleton Heath and Dingle Marshes near Dunwich, but this will be planned well in advance. Please note that some meetings are moved to avoid school holidays.

What will we be doing?

The group is all about getting hands-on! Activities will include:

 Practical tasks. For example clearing birch trees off heathland, gorse and birch bashing, creating dead hedges, helping with the wildlife garden. When carrying out any reserve management tasks we will explain why we are doing it and what the conservation benefits are.

 Designing, creating and implementing improvements on the reserve

 Taking part in surveys

 Wildlife identification skills

 Increasing general wildlife and conservation knowledge

What will be expected of me?

For the group to run smoothly and successfully we would expect you to turn up on time, be appropriately dressed for being outside, be polite to all team members and to bring a positive ‘have a go’ attitude. The group leaders will explain any health and safety elements you will need to be aware of.

What will I get out of it?

This is a fantastic opportunity to be involved behind the scenes, discovering more about Minsmere and how the habitats are managed for the wildlife present. It will give you experience in different practical habitat management techniques, increase your wildlife identification skills, develop your general wildlife knowledge and you will make new, like-minded friends. If you enjoy being outdoors or wish to work in the world of conservation then this is a great way to get involved.

Will I be using hand tools?

As part of the practical tasks we will be using hand tools. Where required we will provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for you to carry out the task safely. You will be shown what the tools are designed for, how to use, carry and store them, how to consider fellow work colleagues while using the tools, and also how to maintain them.

What should I wear?

Please be suitably dressed for the types of activities you will be participating in and the weather conditions. You will always need to wear sturdy footwear or wellies, and old clothes that you do not mind getting dirty; extra warm clothing on colder days, sunhats and suncream on warmer days.

Do I need to bring any food?

We will provide hot and cold drinks but recommend that you bring any refreshments you may require to keep you going until 1 pm. We will take a break during the course of the morning. There is a cafe on site you will be able to access at the end of the meeting.

Can I stay at the reserve after the meeting?

At the end of the session, you are welcome to spend time on the nature reserve as a member of the public (please note you will need to be accompanied by an adult).

Who will be leading the group?

The group will be led by RSPB staff and volunteers who want to share their own enthusiasm, knowledge and experience of the environment. Our leaders undergo a comprehensive recruitment process and work within a framework of safety procedures. If you would like to know more then please do not hesitate to contact us.

What about my safety whilst attending the group?

At every meeting the group leaders will complete a risk assessment, will provide all participants with clear instructions on safe working practises and encourage group participation. At least one group leader will be trained in first aid and leaders will carry radios at all times in case of emergencies. Mobile reception on site is poor.

The RSPB leader(s) reserve the right to stop any activities if they feel it is not safe to continue.

Before you attend a meeting we will require your parent/guardian to complete a consent form so we have your emergency contact details. We will also need to know how you are getting home after the session, or who you will be travelling with. At the end of each meeting we ask that you let the group leader know when you are leaving and who with.

Will anyone be taking photographs?

As part of the consent form we request all participants to let us know if they are/are not happy to have their photographs taken and if they are/are not happy for them to be used as part of RSPB communication material. Any images taken will not be sold to third parties, but may be made available to third party partnerships.

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