Monthly Archives: February 2015

New Volunteer Opportunities

alsam Bashing Manchester University Singaporean Nurses VolunteersCan you write persuasively, informatively and inspire others to change their behaviors and attitudes?  Have you got what it takes to support community groups, teachers and young people to hold their own balsam bashes?  If so, below are the details of two exciting new volunteer opportunities with BEACON that might just be for you:

Volunteer Education Officer

  • This role is to create resources that will educate and raise awareness of invasive species throughout the Bollin catchment.
  • Your job will be to create two different information packs:
    • One about biosecurity for anglers, canoeists and other groups that use the water to recreate
    • One about the Asian Hornet (a new priority invasive no-native species) and the work of BEACON in general for local beekeepers, biological recorders and entomology groups
  • You will have to search for the contact details of the groups who will be sent this information, and mailshot these information packs out.
  • The majority of resources will be provided by DEFRA, but you will need to compose an introductory letter or flyer explaining why these materials are being distributed.
  • You must be very confident with using MS Word, MS Publisher and the internet

Balsam Bashing Champion

  • This role is to create a ‘Balsam Bashing Leaders Pack’ with all the information in it that groups will need to plan, organise and host their own balsam bashes.
  • Once interested groups have been identified and the packs created, you will then organise a ½ day workshop to train group leaders to ensure they are confident enough to hold their own balsam bash events.
  • Most resources will be provided by DEFRA and BEACON, but you will need to compose additional introductory information, event plans and posters to include in the packs.
  • You must be a very confident user of MS Word, MS Publisher and the internet.

Both roles will be supported by the BEACON Project Officer and will be largely office based at Styal, SK9 4HZ, although working from home is possible.  It is envisaged that these roles will require a commitment of ½ day to 1 day per week for 2 months.  Your travel expenses can be reimbursed.

For more information or to register an interest in either of these opportunities please contact Sally Potts, BEACON Project Officer, here.  Closing date for expressions of interest in these roles is Friday 27th February.

Himalayan-Balsam-Hale.jpg

#Invasives Week

Giant Hogweed LymmLast week was invasives week promoted by DEFRA and the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Every day there were different articles and items of interest to view, accompanied by the hashtag #invasivesweek

Local action groups, like BEACON, that cover lots of different regions of the UK, all got involved in sharing these articles and pictures to their followers. We also received lots of interesting feedback.

The items from #invasivesweek were:ree Himalayan Balsam Prestbury

Monday 12 Tiny Things That Cause Huge Problems

Tuesday11 Watery Hitchhikers That Wreak Havoc

WednesdayDiscover 6 native flying insects that aren’t an Asian Hornet & how you identify the real thing!

Thursday – Case study about the Cumbria Freshwater Invasive Non-native Species Initiative (CFINNS) on DEFRAs Facebook Page

Friday – Question and answer session on Twitter with Niall Moore from the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat and Dr Helen Roy from CEH.

Highlights of the week included:

  • 6300 views of the “12 Tiny Things That Cause Big Problems” BuzzFeed
  • 1300 views of the “11Watery Hitch-Hikers That Wreak Havoc” BuzzFeed
  • 1000 mentions of the hashtag #InvasivesWeek on social media
  • 1100 views of the Asian Hornet Flickr album
  • @BBCSpringwatch tweeting the BuzzFeed link twice, and promoting Check, Clean, Dry
  • Welsh Natural Resources Minister getting involved on Twitter!
  • Shining the spotlight on some of the brilliant work done by nationwide Local Action Groups

 And of course participation from all our followers stakeholders, which has helped to raise awareness of invasives and how people can help stop them from spreading.

To find out more about what we get up to at BEACON you can follow us on Facebook here or Twitter here, and keep checking back to these pages for news updates.

Volunteer Thank You Event – 22nd Jauary 2015

BEACON Volunteer Thank You Event

A Volunteer Thank You Event was held at Mathall Hall, Chelford in January to thank all the BEACON volunteers for their hard work and support over the year.  This is the second Thank You Event that BEACON has held, and was as succeesful and well-received as the first.

Sally Potts, BEACON Project Officer, gave a presentation about the work that BEACON has done over the past year, and the achievements of its staff and volunteers.  This presentation was interspersed by four volunteers from KRIV, Avro Golf Club, Birkin Fly Fishers and the designer of this very website (thanks Ade 🙂 )  who gave their account of how they got involved with BEACON over the past year, and what they do to support the project.

BEACON Volunter Thank You Event Presentation

There were displays in the hall showing statistics of how many km of balsam pulled, how many volunteer hours contributed etc, and large maps of the catchment for people to view.  It was good to be able to see these statistics in a graphical way, as it really illustrates the impact BEACON has had over the year.

There were 25 volunteers that attended the evening with a good mixture of partner organisations and volunteers amongst the attendees.

 

 

BEACON Volunteer Thank You Awards- golden spoons

There was also a light-hearted awards section at the end of the evening where golden spoons were presented to organisations for categories such as the ‘Best Sprayer’ or ‘Wettest Balsam Bash’. These awards were well received.

 

 

BEACON Volunteer Thank You Awards- Avro Golf Club

Vic Tarr accepting Avro Golf Club’s awards for ‘Wettest Balsam Bash’ held on July 19th…the earlier post and photos about this bash speak for themselves!

BEACON Volunteer Thank You Awards - Best Dressed

Rosie Fisher accepting her award for ‘Best Dressed’ for working all day in full protective gear during one of the hottest days of the summer when decapitating Giant Hogweed

No formal feedback was received via the feedback cards, but the following are excerpts from emails sent after the Thank You Event:

 

 

 

 

 

‘Thank you for last night, it was great to see other aspects of Beacon’s work’

‘Well done for everything last night – the format of how you talk interspersed with others talking is really good!’

‘What a brilliant meeting that was yesterday.  The way you interspersed your talk with the pieces from the volunteers was so good……. and the golden spoons with their pictures are a lovely idea.’

‘Well done for your event last week – I thought the presentations were fascinating; and was as always impressed with your organisation and promotion of the event.’

And it is just down to BEACON to say thank you to all our volunteers for your help and support over the last year, and may it continue for 2015.  We really couldn’t do it without you!

Thank You Awards - Best Basher

Jaya with her award for ‘Best Balsam Basher’. She bashed balsam all day at age 3, on the bash that was awarded the ‘Wettest Balsam Bash’!