Nature Reserve volunteers: tour guide job

Not working as a guide so far afield these days, but as a volunteer at our local nature reserve I get to be a tour guide while accompanying groups of visitors – especially German speaking – on walks around our beautiful La Mata Parque Natural. Our international group of volunteers have been helping park wardens and staff for many years and this year we celebrated with a lovely party at the park’s headquarters.  We have a lot of fun and really enjoy our work.

Here’s an account of one  of our recent activities:

Releasing fartets!

To continue to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Natural Park of la Mata-Torrevieja two more events have been held, in which the Volunteers of La Mata took part.

The first of these was about “The Secret Life of Birds”.  A talk was given by Justo Ferrer accompanied by short video clips which revealed to the audience the territorial squabbles, sometimes quite ferocious, the courtship, nest building, mating and finally the chicks which resulted.  Normally we, the humans, cannot see these activities s we are too noisy and clumsy to keep still enough, but the fascinating vignettes showed a whole world going on around the park, with not only the flamingos but also all the little birds which live there.  A walk around the park followed for those who hope dot see something of this activity.

The next event concerned a tiny fish, the “fartet”, Aphanius Iberus, or Spanish toothcarp.  These have been on the verge of extinction and determined efforts are being made to protect them and encourage them to breed and increase in number.  Ten of the fish were available for the Volunteers to return to a part of the Torrevieja Lake.  A talk and slides preceded the activity which showed the male and female fish and it was pointed out that they are a natural way to help to combat the problems of processionary caterpillars and mosquitoes as both of these are eaten by the fish.  In this way it is hoped that the area around Los Balcones will be controlled against these pests in a natural way.

My thanks to Jenny Dodd for the main text!



tangerines-reward for our efforts!


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