The alternative Ninja Turtle movie...

The alternative Ninja Turtle movie...

When a conversation with our media team starts with “The BBC are interested in your project, and ideally we need some volunteers to come along….” – you know it will be an exciting meeting…

As mentioned in previous blogs, we have recently been recruiting for some volunteer terrapin catchers on the Ashby Canal in Leicestershire. Admittedly some colleagues were sceptical, and doubted anyone would want to get involved, but our volunteers are made of sterner stuff, as I know. We were quite overwhelmed with the response, and so we have ended up recruiting a small group to assist with the pilot phase of the project, and promised the others we will speak to them early next spring. But I digress!

The casting call came out of the blue, and myself and Richard, the environment manager, were suddenly required to rally some of our new recruits, along with an existing terrapin catching volunteer, Alex, who has been developing a new, humane trap for the creatures.

I wondered whether I should casually drop in the conversation the fact that a cameraman would be coming along (could they mistake him for another, eager volunteer?), in the end I mentioned it very briefly, and in the vague hope that they would not be put off. I need not have worried, as the volunteers on the day, Paul (who is a boater on the Ashby Canal) and Chris (a current day terrapin owner, which is a bonus!) were naturals in the front of the camera, along with Alex (trap manufacturer, volunteer, ecologist), and Jackie and Tony from the British Chelonia Society (our many thanks go to them for not only coming along but also supplying a terrapin model for the day).

Even our terrapin was on its best behaviour, the only glitch was the fact that we had chosen the one day that the canal banks were being strimmed, so we had to coordinate filming with the hum of the strimmers! But apart from that, it was a successful morning filming, and it gave the volunteers a chance to meet each other, and for us to all agree the next steps in the project. We expect things to really heat up next spring, when the traps will be ready and the weather starts to warm up again, so expect another update then….

So do keep an eye open in the coming weeks and months for the feature on terrapins in the Ashby Canal – and if you pass me in the kitchen at Fazeley please do ensure you have your autograph book handy (I may just be in the background as an extra).

See you in December!


PS Loads of new opportunities are still being added to the website – including some engineering and project management roles, so check them out at

Last date edited: 23 October 2014

About this blog

Volunteer coordinator

Amanda is a volunteer coordinator for the Technical Team within the Trust. Whether it’s finding a student for a long-term placement with the environment team or assisting the hydrology team with a team of volunteers to count boat movements, she can be counted on to find the right people for the role. Amanda joined the Trust in July 2012 and previously worked as the Volunteer Leader in the East Midlands. She has worked at other charities in people engagement roles, but is at her happiest besides the water.

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