This will be my last ever blog post as a Natural Futures Trainee and I am excited to see what the future holds for me and my newfound botanical knowledge. With many job applications waiting to be found and filled out, I foresee a busy time ahead. Due to the amount of work James and Conrad will have over the next couple of months, I will be staying on 1 day per week until December to scout potential Great Crested Newt sites ready for the new trainees in the Spring. The schedule for next year sounds amazing – I would love to do it all again!
Anyway, back to October. October has been a good month with a variety of interesting opportunities to keep me going. Our first week was filled with botanical surveys to sites we had already visited either earlier in the year or very recently. This was the same for the last week also. It was nice to finish off how we started. After all the surveys we have completed over the summer it was high time some of them were written up into reports and passed on to landowners. This has given me something to do while Conrad was off on holiday.
Also during his absence, I attended the Exmoor Wildlife Forum hosted in Dulverton Town Hall. It was an insightful day filled with talks about current active projects within Exmoor National Park. I have now been inspired to volunteer on some of these projects in the years to come (fingers crossed I can find and obtain a suitable job locally!) The hall was filled with passionate and inspiring ecologists and conservationists and I hope one day I too will be as knowledgeable and capable as they seem to me at this moment in time.
Other interesting tasks this month involved checking routes and plants on wildlife walks based in and around Chardstock. The Chardstock Nature Community Group with the help of the Natural Futures project have produced these walks to get local people out enjoying the countryside where they live. They were great fun to walk although on one occasion I managed to take a 2 mile detour by accident!
My picture for this month is a picture of an uprooted tree. What was cool about this uprooted tree was the amount of mosses growing on the roots. I have never seen so many in one place before! Awesome work mosses…
Finally I would like to say a big thank you to the Blackdown Hills AONB team for providing this wonderful opportunity. Special thanks go to James and Conrad for, without their hard work and encouragement, this project would not have been as enjoyable and inspiring as it has been. Goodbye for now folks!