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Wading and waddling.. More news from the Trainees.

March 13, 2013

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Skills for the Future Trainees! As well as working with our teams and completing several training courses we have managed to get together for a couple of group activities….with Buba, our new Team mascot.

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Buba, the swamp dog.

It’s been a time of waders, walks and waddles. Read on to hear all about it..

We started with some pond clearance work on Upton Heath, one of the Urban and East team’s reserves. There is lots to see on this reserve, including over 20 species of dragonfly and all six of our native reptiles…..and if you are incredibly lucky you may find trainees in waders lurking in and around the ponds!

Tom and Sally, getting stuck in. Quite literally in some parts of the pond!

Tom and Sally, getting stuck in. Quite literally in some parts of the pond!

The pond clearance work is an important part of the Upton Heath management plan removing the Silver Birch and Willow that is shading out the pondlife, creating a more open habitat in some areas, increasing biodiversity and also access for wildlife watchers. The day was lead by DWT’s resident pond expert, the amazing (find out why in the next sentence..) Rachel Janes, Nigel Brooks and Andy Fale – the Upton wardens. So, amazing Rachel, after letting us all work up an appetite provided home made muffins for everyone! We love you Rachel!

Kerrie, Emma, Charlie and Racheal all looking fab in their waders. And Claire, looking like Claire - who fails to be sensible at the best of times.

Kerrie, Emma, Charlie and Rachel all looking fab in their waders. And Claire, looking like Claire – who fails to be sensible at the best of times.

After completing some more training courses we were treated, by our brave and fearless leader, to a nice stroll around the Purbeck coast. The walk wasn’t entirely for leisure – it forms the 7 mile route on this years ‘Walk for Wildlife’, a sponsored event to help the trust raise funds for the next years conservation work. Through the bitterly cold wind, we fought our way to check the instructions for the route so that the lovely people taking part don’t get lost! We did stop for a cheeky cuppa at the very posh cafe at Durlston Castle –  we were covered in mud and a little wind swept, which lowered the tone somewhat!

Through the snow and icy wind, the interpid explorers went....

Through the snow and icy wind, the intrepid explorers went….

Some parts of the route were very muddy! Steve (you know, the brave and fearless leader) invented a new sport, which we named mud skiing. Basically you find a really muddy hill and attempt to slide all the way down! After slipping, sliding and waddling along the coastal path we were treated to some spectacular views and some amazing wildlife – a pair of Peregrine falcons, Black Redstart, Gannet, Stonechat to name but a few!

Just one of the lovely views!

Just one of the lovely views!

Close to the end of the route we stopped for a quick look around Dancing Ledge, possibly just to delay the walk up the steep hill! We arrived back, tired and muddy but having had a lovely day. The walk, the views and the wildlife made for a brilliant day out for all of us! Everyone is welcome to join in the ‘Walk for Wildlife 2013’. With a 14 mile route option on offer as well the the 7 mile one, there is something to suit everyone, from those out for a stroll around the beautiful Purbeck coastline to those up for a challenge!

We hope we will see you on the day, do come and say hello!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 14, 2013 8:20 am

    I’ve noticed the lower part of Upton Heath looking ver different recently where all the clearance work has been carried out. It has opened it up a lot.

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