Volunteer profile: meet Valerie Mac-Fall

a lady in a sky blue hoody with a telescope on a shingle beach

Valerie began her volunteering at Blakeney National Nature Reserve in early 2017 with the ranger team. Since then she has begun to help in more areas of work as a valued member of the team. Here is Valerie's story.

Name: Valerie Mac-Fall

Career background: 26 years in the Civil Service in various roles from running Medical Centres, monitoring F15 pilot’s training, to implementing a single IT system world-wide.

How long have you volunteered with the National Trust? I began volunteering with the National Trust in February 2017.

Volunteer role(s): Little Tern and Seal ranger, Admin support, Conservation Performance Indicator* Co-ordination and gardener. 

Volunteer Valerie Mac-Fall painting nest markers for the summer bird breeding season
a photo of a lady holding a paint brush and painting a stone in her hand
Volunteer Valerie Mac-Fall painting nest markers for the summer bird breeding season

What do you get up to as a volunteer? As a volunteer I can be doing anything from, pulling ragwort, observing Little Terns in the Summer or Seals in the Winter, archiving old documentation, co-ordinating Conservation across nature,landscapes, wildlife, natural resources and archives and last but not least gardening.

Why did you start volunteering with the Trust? I have volunteered for various organisations so when Ajay gave a talk about Blakeney Point and asked for volunteers I couldn’t wait to know more and be part of such a beautiful place.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with the National Trust? I enjoy sharing my enjoyment of our special environment with visitors and being part of the National Trust Team, staff and volunteers. I have been given great support as I had a lot to learn. I also get to meet such interesting people whilst doing what I love.

Volunteer Valerie Mac-Fall assisting with Little Tern fencing
a lady in blue hammering in electric fence posts on a shingle beach
Volunteer Valerie Mac-Fall assisting with Little Tern fencing

Most special volunteering moment: Seeing LT parents remove egg shells as their chicks hatched, and 1st attempted feed as the Sand Eel was too big they had to find a smaller one! 1st attempted flight by a chick, flying backwards as it was so windy.
I can’t leave out my first trip out to watch the seals, being surrounded by seal pups, cows and bulls took my breathe away.

Favourite National Trust place and why: My favourite place has to be Blakeney Point. It is a such a special place from salt and fresh marshland to sand dunes with a wide diversity of wildlife from birds butterflies, moths, insects seals and hares. The list goes on..... who couldn’t love it!

Valerie Mac-Fall, 25 May 2019

A young Blakeney seal pup
A young Blakeney seal pup
A young Blakeney seal pup

*Our Conservation Performance Indicator (CPI) identifies and ranks the conservation significances of our properties, establishing measurable objectives for them and assessing progress against those objectives each year. The CPI tells us whether our overall conservation performance is improving or declining and enables us to monitor trends against a range of asset categories. Our principal performance measure is the percentage of properties with a CPI score that is either maintained or improved compared with the previous year.