A group of Analox volunteers returned to Saltholme Nature Reserve in Middlesbrough in order to prepare a home for some Common Terns.

The intrepid group of volunteers were there to help clear vegetation off a specially-created cockleshell island. These islands are normally home to Common Terns and the islands are cleared in the autumn and winter months whilst the Terns migrate to sunnier climates.

The group had to cross a river to get to the island, making their way on a small boat, which they had to propel by pulling a rope.

Saltholme Nature Reserve was opened in 2009 as a 1000-acre wildlife discovery centre and is home to a wide range of birds including Peregrines, Lapwings, Curlews and Teals.

What did the Analox staff think about their trip to Saltholme Nature Reserve?

  • Simon Lunt, Director of Sales and Marketing: “The majority of my work is indoors so despite spending most of the day ankle deep in tern guano I thoroughly enjoyed it. And to top the day off we saw a sparrow hawk killing a juvenile starling right in front of us and plucking its feathers under a bush. What a time to be alive! (Unless you are a starling)”
  • Lauren Bennett, Graphic Designer: “It’s the first time I’ve been to Salthome and I was surprised how large it was. It was hard work but we all had a laugh – especially trying to get across to the island in the really small boat!”
  • Helen Caswell, Sales and Marketing Support Administrator: "A fantastic day - fresh air and exercise, getting to know new colleagues, stew and dumplings for lunch - and helping a good cause! What more could you ask for? I'd recommend this type of charity event to anyone!"
  • Katherine Busuttil, Customer Account Coordinator: “I only started here a few weeks ago so squeezing into a little boat was a really great way to get to know your new teammates! Having a day to volunteer is a really great idea and I’m looking forward to seeing where the next charity day takes us all!”
  • David Wyke, Trainee Accountant: “It was great, where do I sign up again for next year?!”

Some facts about the Common Tern

  • Did you know that the nickname for the Common Tern is the ‘sea swallow’?
  • The Common Tern eats small fish
  • The Common Tern population reduced in the 1970s but has now recovered. 12,000 pairs breed annually in the UK
  • Common Terms living along the coast drink salt water. They do not seek fresh water even when it is available nearby. Like many birds, they have nasal glands that excrete the excess salt

Would you like to nominate your charity?

All Analox staff are entitled to one day a year to help out at local charitable organisations. This not only helps local charities, but gives staff the opportunity to work alongside colleagues who they may not normally see during a working day.

Analox has previously helped charities including Stockton-based Daisy Chain, Animal Shelter SARA and Cornshed Beer Festival, which raises money for the Great North Air Ambulance.

Analox is always on the lookout for new charities to help out with, so if you know a community organisation which would appreciate a little extra help, please email julie.cole@analox.biz

Update: While we were on the charity day, the RSPB found a very rare caterpillar - find out more about it on the RSPB Saltholme blog

Want to discover more about Analox? Check out our latest blog posts and meet the team, or view our latest jobs.

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