I’ve been putting off and putting off writing a post because I’ve had so much to write about, which has just made the situation worse and worse. In an attempt to combat that here’s a very brief look at some of what I’ve been up to over the last 3 months!
- Claire and I had our first go at Hedgelaying with the Magnificent Meadows volunteers.
- I’ve been improving my skills at dry stone walling. I think I’ve found the knack for it now I’ve realised that the perfect shaped stone does not exist!
- Discovered how beautiful Mendip looks in the snow
- Spent time with the rest of the Wildlife Skills Trainees on our Wiltshire Residential (more details here)
- Did some soil sampling in the snow and rain
- Cleared trees off fence lines ready for them to be replaced
- Collected random objects for the education team
- Started checking on these three beauties on a regular basis
- Saw my first snowdrops of the year
- More hedge laying this time with the East Mendip Conservation volunteers
- Passed my 4×4 course with Olivia
- Discovered that there is such a thing as Frost Flowers
- Planted trees – made a nice change from cutting them down!
- Completed my pesticide training
- Learnt how to put in a kissing gate with the Magnificent Meadows volunteers
- Attended a Deadling with Aggression and Conflict in the Workplace Course
- Fell in love with the views on Mendip just a little bit more
- Did our final bit of scrub clearing of the winter!!
- Spent a day with the Somerset Otter Group learning how to find signs of otters and I finally got to smell Otter spraint!
- Went to Dorset to the day to join the other trainees for some Personal Effectiveness Training
- Burnt up some brash with volunteers from the Navy
- Saw my first frog of the year
- Appeared in the magazine again
- Had a trainee day that involved Booming Bitterns, nearly setting a reserve on fire and a group of school children (can read about that here)
- Learnt something about grasses on a Grassland Plant ID day
- Got ridiculously excited about my first butterfly of the year outside the office
- Realised that I do remember some of the flower species that I learnt last year
- Passed my Pesticide Assessment
It has been a rather busy few months but I am still loving my time as a trainee. We’ve pretty much finished all the winter works now and spring is definitely in the air! The woodland reserves are really coming to life, with carpets of Ransoms, Wild Daffodils and Dog’s Mercury and the mornings at the farm are a lot warmer! It’s not long at all until the other Trainees come to Somerset for our final residential, and we embark on the last few months of this traineeship. As sad as that thought of leaving is, I can keep my head up as there is still plenty to look forward to over the next few months!