Adder surveying on the Quantock Hills
Jo Merrit, Commercial Assistant at EDF Energy, loves to organise volunteer away days for her team.
As part of their commitment to improving the local area and wellbeing of their workforce, Jo’s employer, EDF Energy, allows staff to take two paid days off a year so that they can volunteer.
This means Jo has had the opportunity to arrange activities including beach cleans, helping to construct a homeless shelter in a shipping container, and, most recently, searching for adders on the Quantock Hills!
“Our latest team volunteering day involved assisting the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme (QLPS) with adder surveying. It was great to be able to help by providing more people on the ground.
"It was wonderful to be out of the office for the day in the fresh air and surrounded by nature on the Quantock Hills. Jem's enthusiasm for snakes and wildlife was very infections and we were lucky enough to see a couple of adders!"
Jem Jacob Gibson, Wildlife Officer at QLPS commented:
"Adder surveying is part of the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme's programme of wildlife monitoring. Getting involved in an adder survey is a great way to volunteer as it is widely accessible to many people.
“Adder surveys are best conducted on bright sunny mornings, and a great way to get out and enjoy the benefits of fresh air and connection to nature.
“They help us to identify some of the habitat areas that are important to the Quantock adders; knowing where they are can help us protect them from harm as well as informing how to manage the land better.
“It is quite a mindful activity as you have to travel slowly through the terrain, keeping your eyes peeled for these well-camouflaged creatures. In contrast to simply walking on the hills, an adder survey makes you slow down and observe your surroundings. Often you will hear beautiful birds such as skylarks and see other creatures lurking in the bracken, like lizards and beetles.
"Adders do not have ears that hear sound (rather inner ear bones that detect vibrations), which means volunteers are able to chat with like-minded people and connect over a mutual goal. We're grateful to the EDF team for their help on the day and would love to hear from any other groups and individuals who would like to get involved."
Jon Barrett, Community Engagement & Volunteering Officer at QLPS commented:
"Volunteering is a great way for people living, or working, locally to connect together as a team and support their local organisations. For us, and the Quantock Hills, the work we achieve isn't possible without the support of committed individuals who are passionate about protecting this natural resource, and learning how to do more, and give back to nature."
To find out more about volunteering with the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme, click here
For information about hosting a volunteering activity for your team, click the link below.