Rhian Sula on spring cleaning and volunteering
Visitor Experience and Community Officer, Stackpole
Spring is a real spectacle at Stackpole as the coast and countryside starts to burst into life and colour. It’s an incredibly inspiring time to visit the estate, with lots to see and do.
I love nothing more than an early morning walk or run from Bosherston Lakes to Broadhaven South at this time of year – listening to the sound of the birds, taking in the smell of the wild garlic and coastal sights, it refreshes you for the day ahead.
Making a difference
Springtime is the ideal opportunity for visitors to learn more about what we do at Stackpole and join in with some of our key conservation activities. After winter, beach cleans at Freshwater West, Broadhaven South and Barafundle Bay are a big focus for us – we run public beach cleans every season, and also work with local schools and working holiday groups.
The stormy weather we experienced in recent months has seen more litter wash up on our shores, and at our first beach clean of the year at Freshwater West we collected more than 200 bags of rubbish. Litter includes everything from large fishing nets to microplastics.
The Trust works closely with partners – Keep Wales Tidy, Marine Conservation Society, Natural Resources Wales and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park – on beach cleans and we always have the fantastic support of our visitors and volunteers. Every piece of litter that’s removed makes a difference and you feel a great sense of achievement knowing you’re helping to keep the coastline clean.
Other events where you can get hands-on and discover the stories behind Stackpole include regular wildlife walks, bushcraft weekends and scything experiences. All of our activities and every visit made enable us to continue our vital conservation work at this special place.
Value of volunteering
As we welcome in the new season, we’re always on the lookout for new volunteers to join our team too. Volunteers are essential to the day-to-day running of the estate and last year contributed more than 19,000 hours at Stackpole. Whether it’s helping with events, monitoring wildlife or taking on projects with the rangers, there’s lots to join in with.
Rhian’s five top tips for visiting Stackpole
- If you want to explore the estate, you’re best making a day of it. There’s so much to see across the landscape, give yourself the time to enjoy the sights and sounds.
- It sounds obvious but come prepared! The weather can change quickly so waterproofs and walking boots are always handy as are binoculars and a picnic.
- Set the alarm and go for an early morning stroll around Bosherston Lakes to experience the dawn chorus. It’s worth the wake-up call!
- Instantly blow away the cobwebs with a walk along Stackpole’s headland. This wild stretch of coast evokes a sense of freedom.
Round off the day at Freshwater West, there’s no better place to watch the sun set over the water… it’s simply breathtaking.