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Of Cuckoos and Men ... And Women And Boars And Conservation

Posted: Sunday 7th June 2015 by 30DaysWild2015

Cuckoo in flightCuckoo in flight

A gathering of like-minded people come together to discuss conservation issues at an historic site.

Today my Random Act of Wildness was shared by over a hundred other people.  This is the time of year when Worcestershire Wildlife Trust thanks its many volunteers for another year's work by inviting them to a special Volunteers' Conference.

This year we met at the village hall set on one of our more recently aquired reserves: Pound Green Common.  We were treated to tea and biscuits and then a series of presentations about, amongst other things, the work that was being undertaken at several of our reserves.  It was impressive to see and hear about the progress that is being made in so many areas to restore the wildlife of so many natural places in the County, sometimes in the face of great challenges.  

After a break for more refreshments we were treated to a fascinating insight into the lives of wild boar which are well established in our neighbouring County.  The talk looked at what many might consider the pros and cons of living alongside this charismatic species and the impact which they have on the ecosystems in which they live.  Our indoor session finished with a look at the issues of managing Pound Green Common itself.  The challenges here are those of owning and restoring land on which people live and commoners have ancient rights.

Volunteers learning about the work at Pound Green Common

A fine lunch was taken across the road in the village pub and then the afternoon was spent walking round the common and being shown the conservation challenges which we face in restoring this land to its original state.

 

 

What revealed itself today is the connection between 'Nature Conservation' and people. 100 people spent large parts of the day talking to each other about the work they do, sharing ideas and experiences, challenges and successes.  The Trust has a fine, professional and passionate team of reserve officers, funds are found for contract work for large tasks but much of the day to day work on reserves is done by volunteers from all walks of life who share a common interest and passion for the natural world.  We learnt about the efforts being made to work with the commoners and we learnt about the relationships between wild boar and people.  It really was a 'People and Wildlife' sort of day.

Volunteers learning about the work at Pound Green Common

... and the cuckoo?  Well, some of you may have bells ringing at the name: Pound Green Common.  This was where Edgar Chance did pioneering work into the life cycle of the cuckoo and for the first time filmed the bird laying eggs in meadow pipit nests.   Some years ago the BBC produced a film about his work.  More details here.

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