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PO Richard Wilmot, Westhay Moor Nature Reserve
Lt Mike Doyle, Westhay Moor Nature Reserve
LAET Dave Bartham at Great Breachwood with Somerset Wildlife Trust
CPO Jim Gunn Ham Hill


Published: 15 Mar 2015

They normally provide assistance to storm-swept islands on the other side of the world, but this week naval airmen from 815 Squadron were focusing their efforts much closer to home.


Over 270 men and women from the Navy’s premier helicopter squadron at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton spent a day helping out several important Somerset conservation projects, including the Somerset Wildlife Trust near Cheddar.


Leading Air Engineer Tom Horst (27) was amongst a separate team volunteering to clear scrub at the iconic landmark of Ham Hill. He said:


‘It was a great chance for us as a squadron to spend some out in the countryside helping out some worthy organisations.’


As well as helping out South Somerset District Council at Ham Hill, teams ventured to the Stour Head estate to work with the National Trust.


Lieutenant (Lt) Rob Kenchington (28), a Lynx Flight Commander said:


‘Although no-one escaped a mauling by brambles, everyone seemed to enjoy getting stuck into building bonfires. It was a welcome chance for us to work together in a more relaxed setting.’


Many of those taking part have either recently returned from operational deployments or will soon be setting sail for up to 9 months. Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cdr) Colin Maude, the man responsible for the careers of the engineers as well as the maintenance of the aircraft explained:


‘Our engineers and their aircrew need to work well as team in order to perform their duties. It is very important to us that we find opportunities outside of work for this team-building to happen. Projects that make this possible whilst also helping causes in our local community is ideal’


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