Margaret is one of our dedicated water vole volunteers and has worked as part of this thrilling community project for the last couple of years.
We caught up with Margaret to talk about her experiences and what she thinks we can do to bring this charismatic species back to the Hogsmill River.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Margaret Melhuish. I’m a retired nursery teacher whose profession involved engaging children in Forest Schools and coming up with activities which emphasised the importance of learning and engaging with the great outdoors. I’m a mother of three, now all adults but still waiting for some grandchildren. I have a great love of nature and my mental health has a high dependency on being outside.
How and why did you become involved in this exciting Water Vole rewilding project?
I first heard about the loss of water voles in the county of Surrey and many other places at the WILD Kingston event organised by Citizen Zoo, which I attended through my work in supporting a Forest School in my local area. I was also volunteering at Citizen Zoo along with my local nature reserve in Berrylands. I remember how enjoying it was watching these engaging animals when on walks along the Hogsmill river with my young children, I was horrified to hear of their disappearance in such a short time and wanted to give my support to their return.
Could you tell us a little more about your role and experiences with the project?
I enjoy chatting and working with different members of our community when on conservation events. This linked to my teaching experience which then led me to volunteer as part of the Community Engagement team in the project.
Why do you think the community should be involved in such a vital project?
People, like myself, often wish they could do something to help the planet and aid in conservation but our overwhelmed at the enormity of the task. This is a small, achievable step on their doorstep and I think once given the facts will feel good to be part of the project.
What does the return of the water vole along the Hogsmill river mean to you?
A positive step in rewilding our local area and the preservation of our wonderful Hogsmill river.
Help us raise funds for this incredible project and check out our fundraising campaign below to make a donation!