A recently created nature reserve played host to the Cambridgeshire Mammal Group last Sunday (21 October) with a training day for members and an introduction to British mammals for members of the public thinking of joining the group.

Ecologists visit Madeleine'’s Patch Nature ReserveEcologists visit Madeleine'’s Patch Nature Reserve

The Cambridgeshire Mammal Group held a training day for members and an introduction to British mammals for members of the public thinking of joining the group at Madeleine’s Patch Nature Reserve.

The reserve, in Warboys, was set up by local ecologist Steve Parnwell, dedicated to his wife Madeleine, 68, who died when her car left the road last December and became submerged in a Fenland drain just minutes from the family home in Puddock Road, Warboys.

The training event included humane capture, handling and release of small mammals after they had been recorded; a survey of the drain bordering the nature reserve for signs of water voles, otters and mink.

A group of 22 ecologists and mammal enthusiasts attended the event, with ages ranging from eight to the mid-70s.

Ecologists visit Madeleine'’s Patch Nature ReserveEcologists visit Madeleine'’s Patch Nature Reserve

Mr Parnwell, a former senior police officer with the Cambridgeshire force, said: “The training day proved to be a great success with much new information gained to add to the growing database of species already recorded in and around Madeleine’s Patch and several new skills gained by the attendees.

“Several of the attendees are seeking full time employment in the ecological industry and the resources available on Madeleine’s Patch offer a unique insight to the world of our local mammals.

“This training will significantly enhance their CVs with associated benefits in their ongoing job searches. Madeleine always helped others and was keen to see young people achieve their aspirations. She would have been very proud to see how the new reserve is evolving.”

To donate to the reserve, log on to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/madeleines-patch.