Today gave me a chance to prove that I have been paying attention and learning new things whilst doing my extra day out with the Wildlife Trust. Lucy is on holiday this week but decided that she was happy for me to go out and do some work by myself.
The task she left for me to do was a safety audit of Cotton Dell. This involves checking all the stiles, gates, steps and bridges across the reserve to ensure that they are safe for the public to use. It’s a fairly easy task, suitable for me to do by myself, but it’s nice to see that I’m making progress with this placement and being given more responsibility.
Cotton Dell is probably one of my favourite reserves. It’s a lovely mix of grassland and ancient woodland complete with a stream running through the valley in the middle of the reserve. I’ve visited various parts when carrying out tasks with the mid-weekers but I really enjoyed walking around all of it today seeing how all the parts are connected. It’s also interesting to see how areas change with the seasons; I was in one of the fields we did some work in not that long ago and it’s already a different array of flower species in bloom.
I managed to carry out all the checks without too much trouble though I nearly ended up flat on my face in the mud at one point and some inquisitive young cows decided to follow me down the path at another. Any problems with anything that I was checking were recorded ready for the reserves team to decide what action to take to deal with them.
It was a really enjoyable day, both because I was being trusted to do work on my own and because I was in the great outdoors. I’m really learning a lot through my volunteering and placement whether it’s wildlife knowledge or practical skills, and hopefully it won’t be too long before doing these sorts of tasks is my actual job.