A few of my favourite things about working in Flatford Wildlife Garden

Flatford Wildlife Garden is designed to inspire people to help wildlife in their own gardens. I’m the Visitor Experience Officer for the garden and so I spend most days there. We’re looking for new Welcome Team volunteers, so I thought I’d maybe tempt you by sharing a few of my favourite things . . .

  1. Hearing about the wildlife experiences of visitors who come from all over the world, although I have to admit to being less than forthcoming last summer when asked about how to keep possums at bay in Tasmania. 

  2. Watching via the nestcam and seeing 11 eggs being laid by a blue tit. Then watching them hatch a couple of weeks later. Seeing those first enormous gapes appearing on those very wobbly, naked heads as the first caterpillars were brought in. Sharing all this with visitors, some of whom called in nearly every day to watch progress. 

  3. Stoats! I know they’re pretty fierce predators, but I do like a small feisty animal. They shoot across the path occasionally, followed by an incredulous ‘Was that a stoat?’ from any nearby visitor. Then comes the inevitable rhyme about the difference between a weasel and a stoat . . . Haven’t heard it? Come along to the garden and ask me. 

  4. Bumble bees! Lots of them on good days, and the fun of roping in visitors to try to identify them when they won’t sit still – the bees, not the visitors. 

  5. Newly hatched ducklings in the garden. We had to carry out a rescue mission for a family of 7 the other day because they were struggling to get to the river. Mission accomplished with the help of a handy washing up bowl and a bit of duck psychology.

  6. Watching the intense concentration on a child’s face as they tease small bones out of an owl pellet. Watching the disgust on their parent’s face slowly turn to interest until they have to grab a wooden skewer and have a go themselves. 

  7. Introducing a child to the joys of making a paper pot, then sowing seeds in it. Receiving a photo of a wonderful pumpkin plant resulting from such a sowing. 

  8. Helping a visitor to plan what they can do with their new garden to make sure that it’s beautiful and also gives as much nature a home as possible. 

  9. A very warm glow when a visitor says how inspiring they’ve found their visit. An even warmer glow when they tell me exactly what changes they’re going to make in their own garden.

If you'd like more information about the Welcome Team Volunteer role, please go to:


  to read the post profile in full, email stourestuary@rspb.org.uk or call 01206 391153.

Thanks. We very much look forward to hearing from you.

Sharon Barker

Visitor Experience Officer