Spring has burst into life here at Yarner Wood and along with it comes some fresh new faces within the team. Robyn and James are our one year conservation assistants and Hannah and Lauren will be with us for three months as survey and monitoring trainees. This enthusiastic bunch all have a background in ecology and conservation and are keen to pursue a career in this field. They all share a real passion for nature and will be pursuing their own interests and goals during their time here.
It might have been a fairly slow start to spring, but this is certainly not the case for our new trainees who have been very busy bees since they started. Here is a sneak peek into the exciting goings on during their first month.
Safety first, the trainees have completed a First Aid course just in the nick of time before their 4×4 training. Luckily no vehicles, trainees or animals were harmed in the tricky negotiations of the steep, muddy Cornish slopes where the training took place.
(4×4 Training and first aid at work training)
Following professionally led workshops from the likes of Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and the Woodland Trust. Hannah and Lauren have completed a number of oil beetle surveys, which Lauren will be continuing for her trainee project. Hannah will be surveying European nightjars for her project sometime in the near future. Alongside Butterfly Conservation, James will be monitoring pearl bordered fritillary at Trendlebere Down and North Dartmoor, while Robyn will be carrying out vegetation surveys in woodlands around Dartmoor National Park.
Robyn is keen to pursue a career in woodland ecology and management, whilst James is looking into ecological consultancy, they therefore leapt at the chance to attain their dormouse licence with licenced trainer Matt Parkins of the Woodland Trust. After their first day of monitoring and handling these little endangered critters it is safe to say they are very excited to continue.
With a great passion for birds, Lauren has joined the Tuesday volunteer group checking bird boxes and even ringing a few along the way. After her traineeship Lauren will be migrating to Sweden for her new job where she will be putting the skills she has learnt at Yarner Wood into practice. Hannah is interested in management and its effects on wildlife, she will be developing this interest further at her next placement at the Lower Sharpham Farm with the LEMUR+ project.
Looking ahead to Summer Robyn and James will be working towards their practical licences in brush-cutting, pesticide and chainsaw use and Hannah and Lauren will be continuing with their survey and monitoring projects. There is a chance to meet all four of our new trainees this weekend at Yarner Woods Woodland Festival so do come along and say hello.
Follow the link to get all the latest goings on at East Dartmoor NNR.
(Hannah and Lauren Surveying Oil Beetles)