A Few Words from The Trustees
As we begin our summer season (April to October inclusive) at Monkton Nature Reserve, we are exceedingly optimistic about our future.
We ended 2018 with a record number of members – over 1,000 – and a total footfall for the year estimated at 10,000 visitors. As far as our records show, these numbers have never been exceeded, so we must have done something right. So far this year, our visitor numbers have far exceeded the same period last year – our ‘record year’ – and membership has stayed above 1,000 despite an expected new-year dip. Things are looking up !
We have been looking at reasons and causes, to enable us to build on our successes and provide an even better ‘visitor experience’ for our members and guests. There’s no doubt that our café is a great attraction, as is the re-organised bookshop and the well-stocked shop at Reception. We would like to think that our special events, held mostly during the school holidays, have also drawn people in, despite stiff competition from other venues.
However, it is quite clear that the main reason for our recent success is the fantastic team of volunteers that work at and support the Reserve, all of them dedicated to maintaining and improving this wonderful ‘hidden oasis’ in Thanet. Not only do our volunteers give of their time, skills and experience willingly, their enthusiasm is infective, such that there’s a real ‘buzz’ about the place these days. No doubt our visitors have noticed, it certainly makes for an enjoyable atmosphere: one could say that the Reserve “is a very nice place to be” as a result !
If you would like to join our thriving team of volunteers – and we would really welcome your support – please see the separate section on volunteering in this newsletter. If you wish to know more, our contact details are given at the end.
May we remind you that all of the income generated by and at the Reserve goes towards its maintenance and upkeep, with any spare invested in improving our facilities and visitor amenities. We don’t have any shareholders or private owners, the Trustees are volunteers themselves, and we only have two part-time paid staff to keep the Reserve open. Being such a small charity, the saying “every penny counts” really does count !
Andrew Ogden Trustee