Thanks to some generous funding from Martin Stanley, one of Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Trustees, we are delighted to welcome Olivia Dullaghan to the team as our very first Visitor Experience Officer. Olivia will be out and about this Spring and Summer across our flagship nature reserves in the Avalon Marshes and Cheddar area, inspiring people about the fantastic wildlife that there is to see on our Nature Reserves, and helping visitors with any questions they might have.
Olivia will mainly be on site at weekends and other busy times, helping visitors make the most of their time there and see some amazing wildlife up close. She will also be running a programme of activities at a number of Reserves for individuals and families.
Tim Youngs, Director of Land Management explains why the role is important:
“We’re always surprised at the broad spectrum of visitors to our Reserves. There are some that return regularly across all seasons - either as bird and wildlife enthusiasts or general lovers of the great outdoors, and there are those that come less often - perhaps specifically for events or guided walks. Some even happen upon one of our Reserves entirely by accident, or have never known it is one of ours despite visiting for years. Whatever has brought them there, whatever level their wildlife knowledge and whatever their age, we want to make sure that people can navigate around the area, get interesting advice as to what wildlife to look out for whilst there, and find out a little more about we do as a Trust – and have fun! We think Olivia will add enormous value to local residents and visitors alike.”
Olivia comments, “Since starting with the Trust I’ve had the opportunity to visit most of our Reserves, and their beauty and diversity is amazing. Edford Meadow and Harridge Woods have to be two of my favourites for a woodland stroll, whilst Ubley Warren is perfect for relaxing on a Summer’s day. I also love getting down to the Levels on the weekends for a spot of birding - and I’ve always got an eye out for the elusive Westhay Otter!”
Spring is a fantastic time of year to see Somerset landscapes at their most energetic; new life, new leaf and new sounds are all around - woods and meadows in flower, butterflies emerging and Bittern booming. Visit the ‘Nature Reserves’ page to find a Reserve near you, or the ‘What’s On’ section to find an event to come along to. Connecting to nature is good for our health and wellbeing – come and be part of it!