The Stangrove Pond Survey - 2006

Stangrove Pond Slide Show

Volunteers

Other than Ken Cox, who tells me that he might be persuaded to rally the old troops from the sadly demised EDRA, one name that immediately springs to mind is The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV), 36 St Mary's Street, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 OEU, Tel: 01491 839766. They may well have a local group who might be interested to get involved with the continuing management of the pond and its surroundings, although I believe that in some instances they make a nominal charge, to cover their expenses. BTCV also publish a useful catalogue, which covers not only various publications but also a whole range of equipment and clothing.

Getting a core of active volunteers, to take an interest in a project, is always difficult. Results from adverts placed in local papers are usually disappointing, while adverts placed in any of the three local wildlife trusts (Kent, Surrey and Sussex) quarterly magazines can be unproductive and expensive.

Approaching some of the senior schools in the area may be worthwhile, particularly if they are involved in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, which has a requirement for voluntary conservation work within its schedule.

Local youth clubs, Scouts, Brownies, etc, may also be worth approaching as might minor local law breakers, or rather those in charge of their community service duties.

Highslide JS
Although an uphill struggle - the best of all volunteers would doubtless be those responsible for the litter and vandalism at the pond....
Although an uphill struggle...

Although an uphill struggle, the best of all volunteers would doubtless be those responsible for the litter and vandalism at the pond. If only some way could be found to motivate them to use their excess energy (perhaps initially via The Community Service Scheme) constructively, not only would this save a great deal of work in clearing up after them, if they could be so motivated, they would probably make the very finest wardens for the future, as with their undoubted contacts the effect on the area would be more far reaching than could otherwise be hoped for, or expected, from any other group. I realise that this would be difficult, to say the least, but if we could in some way turn them around the effort would more than worthwhile.

While not exactly voluntary workers, some open prisons (I believe that Kent Wildlife Trust have used prison labour from HMP Sheppey for conservation work in this area. Not sure if The Prison Service will transport them or if other arrangements need to be made) allow their inmates out for workdays.

I spoke to many locals, visiting the park, during my time on site and many said that they would be keen to get involved in maintaining the area if approached. Most, I have to admit, however, thought that the pond looked fine as it was, so long as it was cleaned up a bit, and tended to wince at the idea of any radical alterations to favour a broader spectrum of wildlife over ducks.