After rain comes…

On a rainy Wednesday morning, four LSE students woke up early to meet the LSE Volunteer Centre Team on campus at 9am. If you find this an achievement in itself, you’ll be even more impressed by the fact that they signed up to volunteer for a whole day at the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park. This park is made up of two lakes surrounded by marshland that supports a wide range of bird and insect species. It’s owned by national land management charity the Land Trust, and managed on its behalf by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).

After getting some coffee and tea we were ready to make our way to the Ecology Park. Although the weather forecast was far from promising, one of the students brought sunglasses – just in case. A bit of wishful thinking must have helped: the rain luckily stopped when we arrived in Greenwich.

Gloves and waders 

The Conservation Volunteers team welcomed us in the gatehouse and provided the volunteers with gloves and waders. These extremely high boots would allow our volunteers to stand in the lake without getting wet feet. Besides, they were great photo material!

The wardens told us that there were fewer regular volunteers than normal. Still, the same amount of work had to be done. In other words, were our student volunteers ready to work hard? Fortunately – as real LSE beavers – they were up for that challenge!

Cleaning tern rafts

Our volunteer team helped looking after four tern rafts. The Common Tern birds use these to nest, but they are very fussy and will only nest on clean shingle on the rafts. The students therefore cleared the stones and muck from the rafts, cleaned them down and re-filled them with new shingle. Tony, one of the wardens, regularly reminded the students to take a break and do some stretching, because the work was physically challenging. Yet, there was enough time to socialise with each other, which is an important aspect of our one-off volunteering programme as well. Tony also shared some interesting stories and it was clear that he had so much knowledge about the park.

We weren’t the only ones who were happy with the work of our volunteers. The organisation stated that the volunteers worked impressively hard:

Huge thank you to you all – we usually have a team of 15 or more doing this job!

Most importantly, the students really enjoyed the one-off. Rebecca Mansell, a third year BSc Sociology student, commented afterwards:

We all really enjoyed volunteering for the ecology park. It was great to see our hard work come together at the end of the day and it was lovely to meet and become friends with other LSE students as well as the other volunteers at the conservation centre. The one-off volunteering sessions are a great idea!

LSE Volunteering Awards 2017

This was the final one-off opportunity of a highly successful Lent Term one-off volunteering programme. Check LSE CareerHub regularly for other great volunteering opportunities and volunteering events or book an appointment if you need help finding an opportunity.

In the mean time, don’t forget to nominate an LSE student and volunteer organisation for the LSE Volunteering Awards so we can celebrate their great work!