Saturday, 21 December 2013

Trustee update: from the vice chair

Ann Roberts, Vice Chair of NWT Trustees

I am thrilled to have been chosen as Vice Chair of Norfolk Wildlife Trust and would like to thank all those who supported me. So I thought I would let you know who I am.

I moved to Norfolk over 11 years ago and became a part of Wymondham Nature Group were I have been Chair for nearly five years and have served on the committee for the last 10 years. I also volunteer with the adult and child education events run by head office; travelling to all parts of the county. WyNG also attend local events in South Norfolk on behalf of the Trust.

But I am a generalist when it comes to wildlife; I enjoy bird watching, surveying wild flowers, practical conservation but most of all just enjoying visiting the wide open spaces across Norfolk. We are fortunate to have some of the best wild spaces in Britain especially the many special sites that the trust own or manage.

The role of a Trustee is varied; we meet 10 or 12 times a year to take overall responsibility for the operation of the Trust. Within this brief we set the Trust's five year Business Strategy, provide other policies, plans and fiscal governance. To carry this out we employ suitable staff, under the management of the Chief Executive, to progress the tasks required. But it’s not all meetings as we undertake a couple of site visits to nature reserves and meet staff members who do the work on the ground. This is one of the best parts of being a Trustee, meeting the staff and finding out what complex work is carried out to maintain good wildlife habitats.

Over the next few years the Trust will be very busy developing the Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre at Cley and preparing the large new area of reserve for wildlife and people. This land project will take several years of work to provide the scrapes, paths, fencing, hides and get the water management levels correct but I expect the wildlife will move in before that.

We also have many other exciting projects ongoing across the county for example; the opening up of more open water areas and other improvements to the Hickling Reserve, or the new reserve being prepared at Hilgay, this should be a great addition to the Wissey area. Another exciting development will be the new programme of working with the community in two of the Living Landscapes. By encouraging local groups, helping and supporting them to look after their wild areas.

Therefore I am pleased to be a trustee at this very exciting time and expect to be kept busy. It’s important that we look after our wild places for the next generations and I look forward to being able to help continuing this valuable and interesting work.

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