Kim volunteers in the Peak area, monitoring vulnerable species and managing reports of nesting birds.
Are you a climber or a hill walker?
Both, though these days I seem to walk (or run) more than I climb. But for many years my life revolved around climbing, mainly bouldering and trad, though I’ve dabbled in sport, winter and the odd Alp too.
What is the highlight of your climbing/hill walking/mountaineering?
If I had to pick one stand out day I’d probably go for something that encompasses all three such as the Cuillin Ridge traverse. In the middle of a perfect week of April weather on Skye it's hard to beat as a big day out. At the other end of the scale (small day out?), climbing West Side Story on a cold winter’s day in Burbage was a bouldering highpoint for me.
Why did you choose to get involved with the BMC?
I started going to Peak area meetings a few years ago, and saw the time and effort that many people give behind the scenes in access and conservation work. At the time I was working with Bill Gordon who had a longstanding project with the BMC protecting Ring Ouzels at Stanage. I took over the project, working as an ecologist for the Eastern Moors Partnership, so I became very involved with the BMC as part of my job. I realised there was more I could contribute in the many areas where birds and climbing overlap! The continued success of the Ring Ouzel project is in no small part due to the many BMC volunteers who are actively involved with nest monitoring.
What do you do at the BMC and what impact has this had?
I check on reports of nesting birds on crags in my area of the Peak District and monitor vulnerable species. Recently, for example, we have been monitoring Peregrines in the White Peak. I am a member of the South Peak Raptor Study Group, and am trying to strengthen the links between conservationists and climbers here. I also sat on a BMC working group looking at raptor persecution and moorland management. The impact, I hope, is that people are able to share the crags with the wildlife that lives there and contribute positively to its protection. This of course ties in very neatly with my seasonal day job of the Ring Ouzel project.
What would you recommend to people looking to volunteer at the BMC?
When it’s possible again….go along to an area meeting, see what’s going on locally and chat to your access reps. Right now, at least you can “pop in” to your local Zoom area meeting and see what’s going on!
This year we are celebrating Volunteers' Week (1-7 June) by highlighting the incredible and dedicated work of our volunteers through a series of volunteer stories. Each day we will be publishing a short written interview with a volunteer so you can get to know a little more about the essential role they play in the work of the BMC.
Day One: Stephen Quinton
Day Two: Mike Spooner
Day Three: Graeme Hill
Day Four: Andrew Higson, Mental Health and the Outdoors
Day Five: Updated volunteer info pages and NEW Volunteering Handbook
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