No I haven’t gone crazy – this is my summary-of-the-week post and I am aware that it is only Wednesday. But it is the end of the working week for me! I’m off to Rutland tomorrow morning to attend Birdfair and do some bits and bobs for A Focus On Nature, as well as finally seeing an Osprey!
This week, as always has been varied with time in the office, time with Liz and time with James and the volunteers.
Over the course of our traineeship we are going to be given an insight into how the Trust works as a whole, and not just through the different areas that we are most heavily involved with. One way that this is being done is for us to meet various members of staff and hear about their roles. Our first meeting was this Monday at the Taunton office where we met staff involved with Volunteering and Communications. It was really interesting to consider volunteers from this side of the fence, as before I’ve always been a volunteer and I’ve been given a blessing to tweet as many photos to the Trust account (@SomersetWT) as I want 🙂
It was also an opportunity to have a catch up with the other trainees. Olivia’s ankle has recovered so Monday was her first day, and the also the first time any of us have seen her since the beginning of July. I’ve also barely seen Chris since Brownsea so it was a chance for us to find out what everyone has been up to (Claire couldn’t join us as she’d been at a wedding). It’s amazing that despite the short amount of time we’ve known each other, how much we had to talk about, and how easy it was to just sit and chat. It’s great to know that there’s others going through the same things as me who I can share experiences and thoughts with.
On Tuesday I spent the day with Liz. We spent the day on Yoxter Range carrying out a few different jobs. First on the list was a bit more ragwort pulling (joy!) but this was made better by the presence of the Exmoor Ponies. They are used to graze a couple of the reserves and they are really beautiful. I have a soft spot for them after spending a childhood with horses but Liz, who doesn’t have previous bias, also loves seeing them. In the afternoon we were attaching an extra strand of barbed wire along a fence to protect a hew hedge from hungry cattle. This involved getting to grips with a monkey-strainer, used to tighten the wire. At the time I did manage to use it, but I’m pretty sure I may need to get re-shown it next time.
Today I went out with James and the volunteer group. We were working at Ubley Warren, repairing a section of a stone wall that had collapsed. I’ve only done a little bit of dry stone walling before, so one of the volunteers Ron talked me through the whole process. I find it difficult at times, as I want a stone a specific size and shape and you can never actually find one that matches your mental image. When I get more into it I relax a little and find it a bit easier to build.
James also found a hidden treasure in the wall, a beautiful Slow Worm. It’s the first time I’d seen one and I was lucky enough to hold it for a little while as we moved it to a section of the wall that wasn’t being disturbed. They are truly stunning when up close, with really subtle patterning along the head and sides.
This week has gone so quickly (and not just because it’s only been three day!) but they do say time flies when you’re having fun!
I’ll be back next weeks with tales from Birdfair and a whole weeks worth of work.