From Germany to Rainham Marshes - message in a bottle discovered
PUBLISHED: 17:36 08 November 2013 | UPDATED: 17:36 08 November 2013
Corporate workers who had left the office for a day in the mud at Rainham Marshes stumbled upon a message in a bottle - all the way from Germany.
As part of a team-building exercise, staff of GeoPlace, a data management company, volunteered to clear rubbish from the RSPB nature reserve in the Thames Estuary.
After managing to fill two skips with the usual waste - plastic bags and litter - one member of the team discovered a small glass bottle, which contained a message from Moritz, of Herrsching, in the south of Germany.
The letter reads: “Hello dude, we are from Germany, how are you we are fine,” followed by an address for the recipient to respond to.
There is a small amount of water damage, making Moritz’s surname unclear, but he signs off by stating “and yes, we are all crazy!”
The sting in the tail is the lack of a date on the message, although GeoPlace have written to the supplied address and await a response.
Rainham Marshes is part of an ancient landscape of grazing marsh in the Thames Estuary, where the river meets the North Sea - hundreds of miles from the coast of Germany.
It requires careful management to make the area safe for the wildlife living there.
Litter had become a problem, creating an eyesore for local people and potential danger to the breeding and wintering birds, water voles and rare dragonflies that inhabit it.
During their clean up, the team also saw three seals frolicking on the shoreline, a testament to improvements that have been made to the quality of the river in recent years.
After being declared ‘biologically dead’ in 1957, it is now home to 125 species of fish, porpoises and two species of dolphin, as well as seals.
Dhruti Bell, RSPB assistant warden, said: “We rely on volunteers to help carry out vital conservation work on our reserves.
“The impact GeoPlace made tidying up the shore has been incredible and this is a great example of partnership working to improve our natural environment.”