Glacier tribute for volunteer

Jonathan Shanklin by Caroline Fitton 

The Wildlife Trust has brilliant volunteers from all sectors of life - even meteorologists who have glaciers named after them . . .

The wonderful 'army' of Wildlife Trust volunteers cover a very wide span of ages, backgrounds, profession, motivation and interests – the one thing that unites them all is a deep love for wildlife and the environment. None more so than Jonathan Shanklin, meteorologist with the British Antarctic Survey who, along with two others, helped identify and discover the hole in the ozone layer in 1985.

Having volunteered with the Trust in Cambridgeshire for more than a decade, Jonathan is in a group of volunteers who conduct invaluable weekly work parties in various areas of Cambridgeshire overseen by the Trust's Cambridge City Greenways project officer Iain Webb. Jonathan is also plant recorder for Cambridgeshire for the Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland and vice president of the Cambridge Natural History Society - and this month had the honour of a glacier being named after him in recognition of scientific endeavour for those who have made an exceptional contribution to furthering the understanding, protection and management of Antarctica over the last fifty years, and whose achievements warrant highlighting alongside those of the early explorers.

Jonathan reflects on volunteering and the local environment: “As with glaciers, the environment around us changes slowly, but human activity is affecting both at an increasing rate. Glaciers are retreating and more and more of our wildlife sites are becoming degraded. Volunteering with the Trust helps to keep sites from further decline, but Government help is needed to restore them to a fully functioning ecosystem. As a volunteer I spend a lot of time cutting down trees and brambles over the winter so that grassland wildflowers can thrive – it is really great to go back in the summer and see that you have made a difference.”

The Shanklin Glacier is about 23 km long and 3 km wide, flowing north from the Wegener Range, Palmer Land, between Fogg Highland and Heezen Glacier to enter Violante Inlet. Many congratulations to Jonathan from all at the Trust.

Find out more about volunteering