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The Great Indoors!

January 9, 2009

Contrary to most people’s belief, Volunteering with Dorset Wildlife Trust isn’t just about being outside, getting cold and muddy whilst hacking away desperately at an extremely stubborn blackthorn hedge. Read on to discover what great opportunities there are to get involved with DWT without a bow saw in sight…Since October last year, I have been volunteering on a part-time basis at DWT’s office at Brooklands Farm. In this short space of time, I have been involved with a number of exciting activities, working mainly with both the Conservation and People and Wildlife Team. This is my chance to tell everyone what I’ve been up to and to raise the profile of indoor volunteering. What has impressed me the most in my 5 months here, is that I am valued as a member of the team, not just a volunteer and although at first I admit I had expected to be given a good few envelopes to stuff, I have in fact been trusted with email responses to DWT members, dealing with enquiries and I have even been given a small part of a Conservation Officer’s job to undertake whilst she is on sabbatical. This involves the close analysis of planning applications submitted from across the whole of Dorset and determining whether the proposed development will affect any SNCI sites. As you can see, it is easy to forget you don’t actually work here.

Rachel, Anna and me in the office

Rachel, Anna and me in the office

One of the highlights for me was a visit in December to Colfox School in Bridport with Joy, the People and Wildlife Co-ordinator to help with their annual Sustainability Day. This was great fun and we spent the day creating a Bug Hotel in the classroom with a bundle of excitable Year Seven pupils. In my previous volunteering sessions, I had prepared a colourful PowerPoint presentation on all the different creatures that they could expect to move into the hotel and we giggled at the various squeals and screams that arose when the woodlouse eating spider and slimy slugs crept onto the screen.

The 5 star Bug Hotel

The 5 star Bug Hotel

Another memorable day was the Mammal Group social, which took place one frosty evening in December at the Dorchester Town Hall. Rachel, Anna, Imogen and I spent the afternoon making sandwiches and muffins, buttering madly away like dinner ladies before fighting our way through a very glittery group of dance school students that we were sharing the venue with. We had a few glamorous mothers look very shocked when they walked into a room full of mammal skulls instead of their smiling little stars in pink tutus! We went on, however, to have a very successful evening with a fantastic talk given by Pheobe Carter from the Cotswold Water Park Society on the re-introduction of beavers in the UK.

Keep your eyes peeled for my next blog!


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve permalink
    January 9, 2009 2:26 pm

    Great Blog Jess!
    Good to hear that you enjoying life at Brooklands -and I look forward to reading more!


  2. January 9, 2009 2:52 pm

    Well done on your first blog post Jess – it’s brilliant. Looking forward to reading what else you have been up to! Jane

  3. Alastair permalink
    January 9, 2009 3:34 pm

    5 Star bug hotel!
    Great blog – nice to read that you get such varied experiences – though I wouldn’t brag about the ‘domestic’ ones too much.


  4. Chris permalink
    January 10, 2009 1:41 pm

    I too am a volunteer in Brooklands Jess and I think we’ve met (must admit I hadn’t realised you were a vol like me). Your vol experiences are quite different from mine – and bearing in mind you come into contact with creepy crawlies I must admit to being quite relieved!
    Please tell us more about your experiences as it made fascinating reading.

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