John Thompson along with John Maryon and Rod Brown helped form the Stowmarket Wildlife Group in its current guise in 2005. In the next few years more local people with a passion for wildlife, including John’s wife Carolyn, joined the group. This support has seen the group go from strength to strength and this year they are looking forward to celebrating their 10th anniversary.
There are currently 12 wildlife groups affiliated to Suffolk Wildlife Trust. These are groups of wildlife enthusiasts that arrange events and activities and fundraise for Suffolk Wildlife Trust. They are run by volunteers and are a great way for like-minded people to make a difference for the wildlife where they live.
Over the course of an average year the Stowmarket Wildlife Group are likely to host talks on conservation issues ranging from the decline of hedgehogs to woodland management techniques. Last year they organised a bat walk in partnership with the Museum of East Anglian Life, and sometimes they will pitch up in the market square to talk to passers-by about local wildlife.
This year you will find them at the Woolpit Steam Rally and Combs village fair.
Carolyn Thompson, the Group’s Chairperson remembers how one of her first wildlife ‘jobs’ upon moving to the county was to relocate bulbs and plants when Combs Ford School was built in 1983. This induction to the world of local wildlife, followed by a long teaching career, has set her in good stead for her involvement in the wildlife group.
It’s obvious that a life-long love of the natural world fuels John and Carolyn’s dedication to local wildlife and their enthusiasm sits at the heart of the group’s success. As John says: “it’s the people in the team that shape the group – as a group of individuals we can each bring skills and experience. It’s something we are both really proud to be part of.”