DEDICATED volunteer and defender of the black-backed meadow ant is Julie Davis, volunteer at the Guernsey Biological Records Centre.
Additionally she has co-ordinated La Societe’s barn owl survey since last year, building on the work of fellow conservationist Vic Froome.
You may have noticed red flags dotted around our coastline, which are the result of Julie’s hard work to maintain biodiversity.
GBRC manager, and nominator for the Butterfield-sponsored award, Elizabeth Sweet is blown away by the hundreds of volunteer hours she gives a year for conservation projects and events, along with her dedication, organising skills and hard work.
Ms Sweet said ‘Since 2017 Julie has been carrying out our black-backed meadow ant survey. This rare ant – near threatened on IUCN Red List – is extinct in the UK. Julie walks miles along the cliffs marking the nests with red flags and assessing the health of the population.’
Then Julie speaks with land management teams, and gives educational talks and walks to the public.
‘This is not glamorous work; it takes months and then she removes all the flags in the autumn. She has been instrumental in delivering the Ant Action Plan which is now helping the recovery of these ants.’
Owl-prowling is undertaken as a lack of barn owls indicates wider environmental decline.
‘She’s completed desk research, done publicity, approached people with barn owl boxes, undertaken surveying and supported our bird ringers as they ring chicks.’
Now Julie produces a barn owl newsletter to update the public.
She does general GBRC volunteer work too and has an active role in La Societe’s bird section.
‘I cannot think of a more worthy recipient for this award.’