Joe Strong recently writes on his work experience placement at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
I have spent a week’s work experience at the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. I have always like being outdoors, probably because of my parents we enjoy going for walks at the weekend and who work with animals every day, so I thought this would be a great place to work.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I arrived, but after a couple of hours knew I had made a good decision to come here. A large amount of my experience was practical-based and outdoors, which was what I had hoped for as I wanted to learn about what happened conservation wise and how these techniques helped to preserve wildlife. Two of the days I spent on Nature Force the staff-led volunteer group that manage the nature reserves . Brashing up coppiced hazel was the first thing I learnt and this was what a large amount of my Nature Force experience was. I found it very interesting how this has to be undertaken to protect the trees from deer and rabbits. Also I learnt how to put up a fence to protect people from a dangerous wall. The volunteers taught me how to use different types of equipment such as a bow saw and a bill hook this will help me if I go into a job in conservation as I will know how they work.
Also I spent a morning working with local college students who wanted to help improve their local environment. This was very interesting for me as it was a contrasting type of conservation to what I had done on nature force. This was very much gardening based and was more about planting flowers and vegetables. There were planters in a community centre which we had vegetables to plant in. I started by planting bluebells and daffodils in the flower beds, I learnt about what types of environment each one likes to live in and learnt about how plants are meant to be planted. Then we planted seeds in the planters, I had never realised how each different crop needed different lengths of time to grow and how they needed to be spaced out differently so they can grow properly.
Another large part of the work I’ve been doing is to do with social media and working in the office. This has mostly been to do with the trusts most recent project, the audio trail at the Welcombe Hills. I have spent time researching this project and have completed a series of tasks about it which include writing tweets to be sent out for the Warwickshire Wildlife trust’s twitter. I have also learnt a lot about how different organisations use social media such as twitter and Facebook to promote themselves.
Anyone who’s interested in conservation or the outdoors I would strongly recommend doing work experience at the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, it is an experience that was very valuable to me and I will never forget. The staff who work here are very nice and it has made this experience extremely enjoyable for me. I hope to work in this kind of career in the future and this experience has helped me know that.
Thinking about your work experience placement? Warwickshire Wildlife Trust provides limited places throughout the year. Visit www.warwicskhirewildlifetrust.org.uk/work-experience for further information
Photo: Joe (bottom left) with volunteers from Coventry University planting raised beds at a community centre in Coventry.