Lady with binoculars at RAF Honington Winter Warmer walk

Station personnel wrapped up warm and took part in a ‘Winter Warmer’ titled nature walk on Station today.

Complete with a soup stop en route, the guided nature trail was predominantly filled with Catering personnel as a team cohesion opportunity where most of the staff have worked continuously throughout the pandemic and over much of the Christmas and New Year period.

SAC Collette Montier said: “This was a great opportunity for us all to step out of the workplace in a relaxed atmosphere and enjoy some team bonding after a very challenging year. We were surprised to see just how much wildlife we have on station. With the use of the binoculars we were able to spot different types of birds such as a buzzard and a kestrel, whilst also seeing how the station are encouraging the wildlife to flourish, such as the kestrel bird boxes on the hangers and the green areas to be left untouched. It was a very enjoyable afternoon and it would be fantastic to experience at different times of the year to be able to see how things change throughout the seasons. I would highly recommend the Nature Trail for other sections to step out and see exactly what we have available on our own doorstep.”

A Winter Warmer countryside walk held at RAF Honington

The team were able to put to good use six pairs of binoculars funded by the RAF Families Federation, who used funds from Annington Trust as part of a wider initiative to support RAF communities during COVID-19. The binoculars are exactly what is needed to support viewing the wildlife across the vast grasslands on station. Station ‘Countryman’ Tony Roe volunteered his local knowledge and supported as the guide for the walk where he detailed the nature to be seen across RAF Honington.

Person with binoculars on a Winter Warmer countryside walk held at RAF Honington

The event was organised and led by Community Development Officer Indi Saunders who hopes to expand the walks to further groups and teams on the station as a morale boosting and community building opportunity that provides some respite from work.

Indi said: “We saw buzzard, hares, goldfinch, linnet, a glimpse of a skylark, plenty of rooks, magpie, geese flew overhead and the kestrel was waiting for us at the end! Not bad for a freezing cold winters day. The nature trail is providing the station with a great opportunity to get people out of the office and work environment, interacting with nature, building a sense of camaraderie and community. Tony generously shares his wealth of knowledge about the flora and fauna and throws in plenty of history and local stories along the way too. We are really chuffed with the RAF Families Federation providing binoculars that can now be lent out to individuals and groups, and are very excited about the next year as we have received funding from the RAFBF which will allow us to introduce picnic spots, interpretation panels and brass rubbing posts so that we can get children and families using it too.”

Images: A countryside walk held at RAF Honington. Crown copyright by Cpl Dave Blackburn

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