The value of volunteers to Derbyshire’s countryside has been underlined by a remarkable milestone at the popular Carr Vale Nature Reserve.
For the team at the 12-hectare site on the outskirts of Bolsover has notched up an incredible 6,000 consecutive days of voluntary cover to help the reserve run smoothly.
The record was achieved on Saturday, meaning that you have to go back to more than 16 years, March 23, 2000, since they last missed a day!
Regardless of the weather, work commitments or family duties, Carr Vale’s dedicated volunteers have given their time and effort.
One of them, Mark Beevers, said: “This is a pretty amazing feat, given that there are so few of us who cover the patch regularly, and given the number of people who have come and gone over the years.”
Mark added that the number of species spotted at Carr Vale has remained equally impressive. The number recorded last year was 144, compared to 146 in 2000, and the average of 146.72 is considerably higher than it was in the 1990s.
The wetland reserve, run by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, is ranked among the top five sites in the county for birdwatching. The mixture of open water, marsh, wet and dry grassland, scrub and trees attracts a rich variety of birds throughout the year -- from wildfowl in winter to breeding birds in summer and swallows in September.