Coastal Guardian Sandwich & Pegwell Bay

Location:
We’re looking for volunteers who love spending time on the coast, are keen to champion and defend wildlife and are happy and confident talking to members of the public.

Position details

Commitment

Any Day

Frequency

Weekly

You will be working at Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve (NNR), a mosaic of special habitats consisting of dunes, dune pasture, shingle beach and saltmarsh, together forming an important site for breeding, migratory, and wintering birds.

The bay is popular with visitors, especially in the summer – dog walking, water sports and other recreational activities such as picnicking are some examples – and if not done responsibly and sensitively, these activities have a serious impact on wildlife..

Little Terns and Ringed Plover used to breed on the NNR, but disturbance has meant breeding birds have dramatically reduced or have been lost all together. Ringed Plover pairs have halved since 1988, and Little Terns have been lost as a breeding colony all together.

We want people to enjoy the NNR as much as we do, but in a responsible way – and often visitors don’t realise that what they are doing is having an impact. This is where you come in!

Your role would be to talk to the visitors on site about the unique wildlife there is, that we have sadly lost some of this, and most importantly, how they can play their part in helping us encourage the shorebirds back! You will be able to point out key sensitive areas and to highlight the ‘no entry’ areas (the signs for which can be missed as people walk along the sand at low tide). Another part of your role would be to note any unauthorised presence or disturbance events in the Restricted Area and send a report to the Kent Wildlife Trust wardens.

The amount of time you would like to dedicate to this role can be as little or as much as you want. Ideally, due to the nature of the site (it is about a 45minute walk down to the restricted access areas), we suggest that a 3 hour shift would be a suitable time slot. However, don’t let that put you off - this can be negotiated! Ideally we’d like to have a team of Coastal Guardians who can co-ordinate their shifts to avoid doubling up and to make sure as many mornings, afternoons and summer evenings as possible are covered.