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New corporate membership scheme offered at Sculthorpe Moor nature reserve

A new scheme is being pioneered at the Hawk and Owl Trust reserve in Sculthorpe aimed at encouraging employees from local businesses to get involved with important conservation work.

The trust's Corporate Supporter Scheme is designed to give employees from businesses the opportunity to undertake voluntary work and, while using their skills to help the reserve, they will be strengthening their own working relationships.

It's a win, win outcome for both the Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve and businesses with the first teams to trial the scheme giving positive feedback. Volunteers will be able to see some of the country's rarest birds and flowers plus insect life and mammals.

The team from N&P Building Society at Sculthorpe reserve. (3247624)
The team from N&P Building Society at Sculthorpe reserve. (3247624)

Fundraising officer for the trust, Angela Glynn, said: "Volunteering on the reserve offers a time when there's no hierarchy involved, everyone turns up in their jeans and boots and mucks in together. It's about breaking down barriers and team-building, which hopefully can be taken back into the workplace.

"We had a group of managers from a local building society who had a great time getting muddy cutting reeds on the marsh!

"In today's working world people often work in isolation, days at home and hot desking. Spending time together in the outdoors not only helps teams to bond, but is an excellent way to reduce stress. You make friends with your co-workers in different ways away from the corporate environment."

Tasks carried out can include making nest boxes, cutting reeds, ringing birds, and undertaking surveys on insects, birds and butterflies.

A Gardening for Health group is also active on the reserve which helps to combat the stresses of working life.

Adrian Blumfield, chief executive and operations director, of the Hawk and Owl Trust, said: “Our corporate visitors always seem to have a good time here at Sculthorpe. Working in the open air when you are usually in an office full of computers and phones provides a wonderful change of scene. I hope that more companies and organisations will take the opportunity to help recharge their teams' batteries by bringing them to the reserve – there’s always a job to be done!”

The Corporate Supporter Scheme will offer three levels of membership for firms to choose from, depending on the size of the business's workforce. Merlin membership is for companies with 20 or less staff, Kestrel is for those employing between 21 and 50 and Peregrine for those with more than 50 staff. Membership cards are available for each category which entitle employees to access to the reserve for a year. Each business will also be given an owl nesting box through the reserve's Adopt a Box scheme.

Said Angela: "Family days out at the reserve are another way of connecting people with their businesses."

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