Since retiring, Alison Templeton, who worked in a variety of roles within local authorities, has returned to her first love, nature conservation. She now volunteers with a number of charities, including Land-based Day Facility, ARK at Egwood.
Here she shares her motivations for volunteering. “I have always volunteered and when I took early retirement, I had more time to offer. So I began volunteering at ARK where I have a strategic advisory role and have been working with them to develop their 5-year Biodiversity Plan.
"Nature conservation is a big passion of mine and I feel it’s such an important cause. We are facing a climate and ecological emergency and we can all do our bit to protect, restore and enhance our wildlife habitats"
“I volunteer to follow my interests, to help where there’s a need, to connect with other people, and to use my skills. Nature conservation is a big passion of mine and I feel it’s such an important cause. We are facing a climate and ecological emergency - we can all do our bit to protect, restore and enhance our wildlife habitats, and this is what motivates me. Now more than ever, we need to work more harmoniously with our natural environment.
“There are loads of opportunities in nature conservation and the more people can get involved the better. I think conservation volunteering is an opportunity to broaden your own knowledge, because you're always learning new things, which can be applied to other parts of your life.
"It was just the most satisfying thing to think that, thanks to our hard work, the butterflies are here and we're giving them a future! That was a really joyous moment.”
“One of my fondest memories of volunteering was when I worked with a conservation organisation and local landowners to help protect the habitat for a rare species of butterfly. Having done the work, we met on site one spring morning to see if we could find any butterflies or their eggs and we did! It was just the most satisfying thing to think that, thanks to our hard work, the butterflies are here and we're giving them a future! That was a really joyous moment.”
Nigel Bell, Director of Business Development and CEO at ARK at Egwood commented,
“Alison has been supporting ARK in a voluntary capacity and has devised a 5-year Biodiversity Plan, which will enhance the biodiversity of the site for all who come here, and for the natural species themselves. She has been instrumental in paving the way for the future of ARK’s nature engagement and education for many, now and in the future.”
Alison continues. “I find the strategic work really satisfying, in particular knowing I have contributed to ARK’S 5-year plan for conservation and going forward I am keen to carry on encouraging and supporting them in that capacity.”
If Alison's story has inspired you to get involved in conservation volunteering, click on the link below.