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Source: Channel Islands – Jersey

​People with a passion for nature can learn how to survey and protect freshwater wildlife and become Wild Volunteers at a free training event on Saturday 25 January.

Pondwatch JE 2020 (which runs from 10am to 2pm at Grouville School) will teach people how to survey Jersey’s ponds, detect changes in the plants and animals that inhabit them, and understand more about the threats facing ponds.

The event is organised by The Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group, Jersey Biodiversity Centre, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust and the Government of Jersey’s Natural Environment Team.

The event will offer two different levels of training for up to 50 volunteers:

  • Level 1 will give the volunteers the skills they need to run a 30-minute pond survey in their own time.
  • Level 2 will give volunteers the skills they need to run a minimum of five surveys between January and May, using more complex methods.

All volunteers can train for both Level 1 and Level 2, and do not need to have any previous experience – or their own pond – to take part: the project team can help volunteers find a pond to survey.

The data collected by volunteers will be used to monitor the health of ponds and record the number of animals that live in them.

Nina Cornish, Research Ecologist, said: “I’d encourage anyone with an interest in wildlife to come along on Saturday: Pondwatch JE is an easy way to get involved in protecting Jersey’s environment, and it’s also a great excuse to get outdoors!

“Ponds are home to two-thirds of all freshwater species, but because they’re such a sensitive ecosystem, they’re also an important indicator of how healthy the wider environment is.

“Training more volunteers and supporting existing volunteers is really important for the government and other environmental organisations. We rely on the kind support and commitment of Wild Volunteers, who allow us to run more surveys and gain a better understanding of the health of Jersey’s environment so that we can protect it for future generations.”

Anyone who wants to attend the event can reserve a place online or contact Nina Cornish by phone on 441624 or by email: n.cornish@gov.je. Volunteers should wear warm, waterproof clothing, and bring wellington boots.

MIL OSI United Kingdom