The Titchwell Ticklist: Volunteers give so much to reserve

Ray Kimber and his bug hotel at Titchwell Marsh ANL-150304-111126001
Ray Kimber and his bug hotel at Titchwell Marsh ANL-150304-111126001
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Ray Kimber with his bug hotel.

Ray lived next to RSPB Titchwell Marsh nature reserve so he had wildlife on his doorstep. Even the windows of his house on the beach provided panoramic views from which to watch the comings and goings of migrating birds as they made the reserve their home.

We are lucky too! Lucky because over the 40 years that Ray Kimber has been a volunteer at Titchwell Marsh he has kept notes of his sightings of birds, wildlife and flora. He has amassed a wealth of knowledge, personal memories and many light-hearted anecdotes over this time – many of which are now in his book – Titchwell Tales.

Ray’s latest project at Titchwell is to create a new wildlife garden.

This is all part of a project to give nature a home and provide as many wildlife habitats as possible using grass logs plants and water.

Wildflowers including foxgloves will be an integral part of the garden.

The pond with water plants can be used by bathing and drinking birds, emerging dragonflies and somewhere for amphibians to lay eggs.

Then there is a bug hotel to attract insects like ladybirds, lacewings and solitary bees.

A thorn hedge with bramble, hawthorn, dog rose, redcurrent and raspberry will provide nest sites and shelter for wildlife.

The saltmarsh and beach area will reflect the RSPB Titchwell experience for those who cannot walk far on the reserve but still want to enjoy the experience by sitting and watching the wildlife in a more accessible form.

Another long term volunteer, David Lake, has been with RSPB Titchwell March nature reserve for more than 17 years

After retiring from 39 years in the retail business he wanted to give some of his time to looking after nature.

He first volunteered at the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital at East Winch spending six very rewarding years at the hospital learning a great deal about the welfare of sick and injured wild life.

He then joined the team of volunteers at Titchwell.

With a retail background, he is perfectly suited to helping in the visitors centre dealing with customer purchases and questions.

One of his favourite jobs is the filling of the many bird feeders around the centre building.

David gets a great kick out of bird watching and believes that helping to keep the environment in some sort of order, when it needs attention, is a reward in itself.

He believes he has the best of both worlds – working in an area of great, natural beauty and helping visitors to enjoy the Titchwell experience.