A younger voice for nature

Photo by Gillian Day from Wild Net

Hear from life-long Wildlife Watch member and young volunteer Millie about Ely Wildlife Watch and why she thinks it's important for young people to get outdoors

Hello, my name is Millie and I’m nine years old (nearly 10). I have been a member of Ely Wildlife Watch since I was a baby. My mum and dad have been Watch Leaders for about 12 years.  I’m a junior leader for the group as I cannot be a proper leader until I am 18.

Ely Wildlife Watch is a group that is open to all children to learn about nature and how to protect it. We do fun activities, walks, scavenger hunts, crafts and games - all with a wildlife theme.

I have helped Ely Wildlife Watch by creating factsheets, quizzes and games for Watch meetings, showing hedgehogs and doing a little talk on them at Ely Wildlife Watch and at Ely Scout hut (I sometimes foster poorly hedgehogs at home). I also help suggest activities at Watch Leader meetings when we plan for the year (over a hot chocolate and cake), I’ve helped organise a litterpick and also completed my Wildlife Trust Hedgehog Award. I have now just started my Kestrel Award and will use this blog as part of that!

Last year I did a speech at the “Ely Soup” event about what children get out of going to Wildlife Watch. 100 people turned up and each paid £5 to receive a bowl of delicious soup and a vote. They listened to presentations from four different community groups and then they decided on which group to vote for to win all the money. While unfortunately we didn’t win, a kind man came over and said that he would buy Ely Wildlife Watch 20 pairs of binoculars, which was a great result!

I like being part of Ely Wildlife Watch because I enjoy the activities and love planning the games, walks and visits. I always take a notepad to Watch Leader meetings and write down important facts and the monthly plans. I think it is important that children take part in Wildlife Watch as nowadays everyone just sits on the sofa either on their phones, ipads or watching TV. If you do that all day, every day then it destroys your imagination and mind - but if you can go outdoors, even for 10 minutes, you can remind yourself of what the real world looks like, feel the fresh air and be with nature.

When I am a grown-up I would love, love, love to be a conservationist and look after animals as I am a massively, HUGE, big, animal lover!