PEOPLE are needed to join the small army of volunteers at RSPB’s Arne reserve.

A special ‘volunteering mini-fair’ will take place next month to highlight a number of positions on the popular Purbeck nature reserve.

Beki Williams - RSPB Dorset visitor operations manager - said: “This is a particularly exciting time at Arne and we have loads of opportunities.”

The fair is being held in the grounds of the newly-reopened cafe and shop, with Arne’s new wildlife garden as a backdrop.

Six months ago the garden was a muddy patch of land but with help from volunteers, and funding from the Veolia Environmental Trust, it is now blooming, and teeming with bees, butterflies, dragonflies and birds.

Beki said: “We opened our new visitor facilities at Easter and have had a few months to settle in, now we are ready to take on more volunteers to help us out.

“We are running the volunteering mini-fair to give people the chance to see the reserve, the facilities, to have a chat with us about the roles, and what people can expect from volunteering at Arne.”

The reserve overlooks Poole Harbour, where thousands of wading birds can be seen in autumn and winter, including Avocets, black-tailed godwits and Brent geese.

Moira Higgs, a retail volunteer at Arne, said: “It is lovely meeting different people and chatting to whoever comes in to the shop.

“It is a friendly working environment, the hours are flexible and adaptable, and there is always someone there to help you, so there is never any need to panic.”

RSPB staff and existing volunteers will be available to chat with at the volunteering mini-fair, which will open September 7-11, from 11am-3pm.