Mandy became a registered volunteer with Coast Care just over a year ago following moving into the area and looking for volunteering opportunities within the conservation sector. Mandy lives right on the coastline with unspoilt views across Northumbrian beaches and the expanse of the North Sea, naturally Mandy has taken a keen interest in marine wildlife and conservation.
Mandy was nominated by Coast Care for this year’s Marsh Awards as a Northumberland Wildlife Trust volunteer. Coast Care staff recognise Mandy’s great interest in conservation as she has been involved in various roles and opportunities across the project and has dedicated over 70 hours to Coast Care within the last year of joining the team.
Mandy's ‘patch’ is perfect for a wildlife enthusiast, as she regularly spots Bottlenose Dolphins and Porpoises - Cetaceans is one of her greatest passions! Mandy has joined Coast Care on Shorewatch events to sight Cetaceans and took part in this year's National Whale and Dolphin Watch. Mandy surveys Cetaceans in her free time and reports this data back to Marine Life's North East Cetacean Project.
Over lockdown she monitored three Oystercatchers and took the highs and lows of their nesting attempts over the summer. She was also kept busy keeping on top of her local beauty spot as visitor numbers increased over summer unfortunately so has the amount of litter being left on the beaches and cliffs. She has been working hard to remove waste and over this period has lifted 408kgs from the coastline through her site warden role and working alongside other organisations - 350kg alone in fishing rope has been retrieved off the beaches through these cleans.
Mandy also volunteers as a Marine Medic for British Divers Marine Life Rescue and is a Beach Warden for Marine Conservation Society. In addition to all this amazing volunteering work Mandy has recently completed a level 3 diploma in Marine Conservation and hopes to gain a career in the near future within this field.
Becky Bass, Coast Care Project Manager explained “Mandy is just one of hundreds of volunteers who have dedicated their time to Coast Care but she really has gone above and beyond to assist in marine conservation. Mandy is a fabulous member of the team who is keen to muck in and also learn new skills to further her knowledge and ways in which she can help the cause. She really deserves this award and myself and the team are so privileged and proud to have her on board as one of our volunteers”.
Craig Bennett, CEO of Wildlife Trusts awarded Mandy at a virtual ceremony. Mandy received a certificate and a £500 cash prize. Mandy received her award and added “I have been totally overwhelmed and amazed to hear I was nominated for a Marsh award for volunteering by Coast Care and Northumberland Wildlife Trust, and to be awarded runner up is wonderful. My love for nature and wildlife, especially around the coast, has developed into a passion for all things marine and a determination to do what I can to help protect our coastal and marine ecosystems. Joining Coast Care has been an opportunity to meet and work with like-minded people who care as much as I do, and I feel that this award is as much for all the volunteers at Coast Care who work very hard and put in a lot of hours. Every day is different, it’s fun to work with a great bunch of people from all different walks of life. I have learnt so much through my volunteering, such as wetland bird and seaweed identification and surveying techniques, and have gained skills and qualifications including my Lantra brush cutting certificate. The skills I have learnt will help me continue to look after the stretch of coast where I live, to monitor the flora and fauna, as well as the beach cleans which I do on a daily basis”.