Call for Volunteer Estuary Guardians
Can you spare a couple of hours a month to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of a stretch of Swale shoreline?
The Swale estuary and Faversham and Oare creeks together make up a lot of shoreline to love and protect. An Estuary Guardian programme, run by Medway Swale Estuary Partnership (MSEP) is looking for volunteers to ‘adopt’ sections of the estuary shoreline, which for us here in Oare, would mean you could choose a section from Conyer Creek along the Saxon Shoreway to the Sportsman pub near Graveney or sections on both creeks. The idea is to create a network of eyes and ears for the estuaries, recording incidents of litter, pollution, stranded wildlife, evidence of invasive species, as well as sightings of the estuary’s wading birds, beautiful sunsets and moody marsh landscapes. You can also keep a look out for inappropriate activities on the estuary, such as use of jet skis too close to nesting sites (or swimmers), or unregulated fishing, anti-social behaviour, sewage leaks, etc. All the information you collect is recorded to give a picture of the estuaries’ users and the problems faced by marine life on this part of the coastline. This in turn helps focus funding and projects to help tackle some of the issues raised.
You’ll receive a training pack of ID guides, an Estuary Guardian calling card for reporting your sightings, and a pack containing a free litter picker, a free fat pot to collect cooking oils in (once solidified, you can make your own fatballs), bamboo wipes (alternative to the wetwipe) and plug drainers (to reduce what gets poured down the sink).
There’s an application form to fill in and then you will receive all the info and be able to join the closed Facebook group where you can share info and photos with other members. And then arrange where and when to pick up your free Estuary Guardian goodies!
If you are interested, please contact Belinda Lamb, MSEP Project Officer, at info@MSEP.org.uk