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The RSPB's voluntary wardening scheme - what's your experience ?

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Old Tuesday 11th May 2004, 11:57   #1
osborne
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The RSPB's voluntary wardening scheme - what's your experience ?

What is your experience of the RSPB's residential voluntary wardening scheme ? Mine is a little negative due to a less than enthusiastic warden. However I think the scheme is worthy overrall as :

a. It looks good on your CV
b. It gives you the chance to see birds you'd never see before (i.e fetlar phalaropes )
c. It gives you the chance to gain work experience/get involved in something.

What's your general view on conservation volunteer schemes ? What are your experiences whether good or bad ?
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Old Wednesday 12th May 2004, 16:51   #2
sparrowbirder
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ive only done it once about 16 years ago at the RSPB radipole lake and Lodmoor reserves!!the accomodation was in a damp caravan with no electricity about 4 miles from the reserves, with a very infrequent bus service and no car this proved a problem!! the actual"wardening bit" was fine,although we did need to work quite hard on occassions, I was suppose to stay 3 weeks but only stuck around for a week,couldnt handle not having a TV in the caravan!!
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Old Wednesday 12th May 2004, 22:32   #3
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I spent many months volunteering with the RSPB and in the end it paid off with a rewarding job. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent and made many great contacts. I gather the training opportunities are now greatly improved for "long-term" volunteers. It is an excellent opportunity to become involved at ground level with a very proffesional body.
However, I don't agree that volunteers should replace paid jobs. The RSPB though still a charity conducts itself as a big business and in my opinion should be creating more jobs out of it's volunteer workforce.....these people after all are the future of the organisation. I have seen many excellent individuals lost from their ranks through lack of appreciation by them.
The short-term contract situation still exists and loses many good staff in the process.
The financial investment of wages is small compared to other expenditure considering it is building the RSPB's future workforce, so I would like to see more volunteers being offered some remuneration relative to their input and ability.
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Old Wednesday 12th May 2004, 22:51   #4
jpoyner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osborne
Mine is a little negative due to a less than enthusiastic warden.
From the other side of the fence, during my time spent as a warden managing volunteers a certain small percentage do have a negative effect and actually hinder work rather than help. In my time I had to have one individual removed from the scheme due to unacceptable behaviour and certainly encountered a few who were just there for various reasons, none really a genuine interest in the work they were supposed to be doing. This IS a small percentage, perhaps the warden had had more than his fair share that year?? Still not really an excuse.
Certainly there were (and probably still are) wardens who felt vols. just got in the way, but as it's part of their job remit to manage volunteers on the scheme then you should let the RSPB know if this happened as they aren't doing the job they're paid to.

JP
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Old Thursday 13th May 2004, 12:53   #5
osborne
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Thanks JP
I think you've made a few good points. From what I heard the two volunteers before me were rather loutish so maybe the warden was a little tired. Perhaps he was a bit fatigued with volunteers as I was the last one before the scheme ended for another year. I did feel a little as if he felt the volunteers were there out of necessity rather than because he really wanted them there. Although I was probably lacking in enthusiasm myself as I felt a little uneasy from the start so it should be viewed both ways.
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