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Do you fancy lending a helping hand with turtle doves and red squirrels? Here’s why now could be your chance

PUBLISHED: 11:52 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:27 09 October 2018

People interested in volunteering at Pensthorpe Natural Park are being invited to an open day. Pictured is volunteer Allan Archer with visitors. Picture: Steve Adams

People interested in volunteering at Pensthorpe Natural Park are being invited to an open day. Pictured is volunteer Allan Archer with visitors. Picture: Steve Adams

Archant

People interested in wildlife and gardening are being given a rare opportunity to develop their knowledge at one of Norfolk’s largest attractions.

Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham, is opening up new volunteering opportunities in aviculture, horticulture, practical conservation and visitor interaction.

As well as offering a chance to enhance physical and mental wellbeing, the experience would allow people to learn new skills, improve social interaction, develop CVs and open doors to further employment.

Owner Deb Jordan explained why volunteers are a “vital and valuable part” of the park’s workforce.

She said: “Our volunteers bring a raft of complementary and contrasting skills and experience which help our teams develop new ideas and grow.”

Duties would include working with the wardens and gardeners to develop the presentation of the 700-acre reserve, running wildlife demonstrations for visitors and supporting the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust in protecting threatened species such as turtle doves, red squirrels and corncrakes.

Volunteer Allan Archer, of Wymondham, credits voluntary work with enhancing his knowledge of wildlife and conservation, and improving his mental wellbeing.

He said: “Volunteering has absolutely transformed me and it’s something I wished I’d done years ago. It’s so rewarding – I can’t emphasise enough how important it’s been in changing my life.

“There is no greater feeling than seeing others get enthused about nature. Working somewhere like Pensthorpe, with plenty of biodiversity, means that wildlife sets the agenda for the day – what could be more thrilling than that?”

Volunteers are provided with training, an induction and a familiarisation trip along with regular catch-up meetings. Opportunities are also available for community and corporate groups.

Anyone curious about volunteering at Pensthorpe can join a free taster day on Friday November 16 from 9.30am until 4pm. Lunch will be provided but pre-booking is essential as spaces are limited. To book or for more information ring 01328 851465.

Descriptions of all the roles available can be found at www.pensthorpe.com.

For more detailed information or to apply to become a volunteer, contact Marie French on marie.french@pensthorpe.com.

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