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Autumnal Allsorts

November 14, 2013

To begin this installment of the Skills for the Future blog we have to say some farewells (not goodbyes!) to some of our fantastic team mates. Tom, from the west Dorset team, has secured a job on the Winterborne Came estate! He will be working in the woods and also looking after the game. Kerry and Sammy have left their Skill placements, continuing to progress their careers in conservation. We wish all of you the best and we all really hope that our paths will cross again very soon!

Meanwhile, this month we have a selection of highlights…….

As a group:

We have had a few group sessions over recent weeks. We have finished off our presentations (and gotten over our public speaking nerves!), with presentations from Megan, who told us about the amazing experiences she has had volunteering with EuCAN. Claire gave a presentation on the lifecycle of dragonflies and Amy paid homage to Tom with her presentation on his last day of work with DWT! Our brave and fearless leader has given us all some workshops on application writing and interview techniques. Now he seems to want to see if we are as brave and fearless as him, by offering to have us interviewed by the chief executive! No pressure then!

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A Four-Spotted Chaser, one of the images from Claire’s dragonfly presentation.

We have had a fab time recently out on a deer count for the National Trust. This involved Megan, Charlie, Melinda and Steve wandering Purbeck trying to find deer in the rain, whilst Claire sat (quite cosy) in Steve’s one man hide, waiting to spot anything that emerged from the woods. This was followed by a very tasty breakfast – provided by the National Trust as a thank you for helping with the count!

From the East and Brownsea Teams:

Emma and Amy (along with Claire from the mid team) have completed their ‘Sit-Astirde ATV’ training, which means thay may now play on …..er…..we mean use the quad bikes.

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Emma getting to grips with riding a quad!

From the Mid-Team:

The chainsaw season is well and truely underway, with plenty of scrub management and tree thinning on the horizon for Charlie and Claire. This is the time of year that the practical trainees are able to build up valuable experience with their chainsaws. Recently the mid team ladies have been trained to conduct Water Vole surveys, which was a great day (Claire and Charlie love an excuse to don a set of waders)! Although they didn’t spot any Water Voles they were able to see field signs of feeding and active burrows. The stunning autumn colours also bring fantastic fungi! Both Charlie and Claire are keen to learn more about fungus and develop their identification skills for this diverse group of organisms.

From the Marine Teams:

Megan at the Chesil center has been busily preparing half term activities, which ranmost of the week at the center. Lots of art and craft activities and plenty of opportunities to come along to the center and learn more about the spectacular wildlife that can be seen here (from the comfort of the cosy Chesil center cafe!). There has also been lots of keen birdwatchers visiting the center over recent weeks, enjoying the variety of species that use the area. Meanwhile, Melinda has settled int her post at Kimmeridge and is having a great time. Melinda has been keeping a close eye on the Kimmeridge seaweeds….with the help of a microscope!

Barnacles, a photo taken at the Kimmeridge Reserve.

Barnacles, a photo taken at the Kimmeridge Reserve.

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