Monday, July 22, 2024
HomeNewsRodley Nature Reserve stalwart, 90, to retire

Rodley Nature Reserve stalwart, 90, to retire

By David Nesham

Rodley Nature Reserve volunteer Edna Cowan is to retire after over 20 years of loyal service working in the Visitor Centre shop.

Edna, who will be 90 in October, first became aware of the Reserve after visiting a stall at Pudsey Carnival along with her husband David back in the early noughties. A Reserve leaflet caught Edna’s eye and it wasn’t long after that Edna and David became regular visitors enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and the friendly faces as they walked round.   

They invested in a bird ID book and soon became avid birders recording their sightings which were lodged at the Visitor Centre.

When David retired they were soon signed up as volunteers in the Visitor Centre doing regular weekend shifts serving teas, coffees and buns as well as promoting a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for visitors.  Sadly, Edna lost her husband to covid 4yrs ago but found solace at the Reserve and continued with her volunteering activities. 

Rodley Nature Reserve.

Edna said: “I’ve got a lot more out of Rodley than I ever put in to Rodley, it became a sanctuary at times and when I’m here it’s so peaceful and at times an oasis and you don’t have any troubles – it keeps me sane.

“I think it’s time now that I had a bit of a rest although I’m planning a few holidays including a trip to Miami later in the year.  I’m not going to leave the Reserve though, I’ll be walking round recording and if I notice something that needs doing I’ll report it – I could be the visitor from hell!”

Peter Murphy, Company Secretary and Trustee commented: “For many of our regular visitors Edna is the face of the Reserve. Whether working in the Visitor Centre or recording wildlife around the Reserve she always had time to talk to people and make them feel welcome – a rare quality.

Edna will be retiring on 30 June and will leave a huge gap but is keen to promote the volunteering opportunities available at the Reserve which include Visitor Centre, education, habitat maintenance and pond dipping. Anyone interested in joining a very happy team can visit  the website,

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