A wild network for young people

A wild network for young people

Following a work experience placement at Rutland Water Nature Reserve as a teenager, I began volunteering for LRWT. The skills and experience I gained through volunteering during the remainder of my school years and time at University has been key to finding the career path which suits my expertise and aptitudes. 13 years have passed since those first couple of weeks work experience, and in that time I have worked with hundreds of people who have helped me shape my future. I have learnt so much from the staff and volunteers who have invested their time and knowledge in me, introduced me to friends and colleagues who could help along the way and given me opportunities to experience something I might not have before. This experience has empowered me to try and help other young people obtain the multidisciplinary skills and broad range of experience they might need to accompany their academic qualifications in the future. LRWT provides an incredible range of educational and volunteering experiences for young people, from being a toddler right through to adulthood at 18 there is something to give the next generation of wildlife enthusiasts a chance to connect with nature; Nature Tots, Wildlife Watch, school visits and forest schools, activity days, work experience placements, the Wild Skills volunteer group at RWNR and much more.  We watch young people develop a love of wildlife from an early age, and grow into dedicated young naturalists some of whom hope to embark on a career in nature conservation. This year a handful of Rutland Water Nature Reserve’s Wild Skills team turn 18 and become too old...
Tales from the Trainees

Tales from the Trainees

With longer days, warmer (?) weather, emerging flowers and singing birdies you can certainly say that spring has sprung! But before all this activity we had to make sure all of the winter jobs were complete! Each year a section of the reedbed in Lagoon 3 is cut. There are two key reasons why this is done. Firstly, it allows new growth – it is important to have different age structures and cutting a different section of reed each time should achieve this. Secondly, over a period of time leaf litter and rotting material builds up and eventually the reedbed would dry out, turning into scrub and then woodland – a natural process. What we are doing is to halt this successional process in order to keep the habitat as a reedbed. To do this, the reeds are cut as short as possible with a combination of the pedestrian mower and several brushcutters. It is surprising just how much material is produced! But this cannot be deposited back into the reedbed and so has to be burnt. At the fire sites, the reeds take a long time to regrow, which is beneficial to the habitat because these areas become temporary clearings ideal for feeding bitterns!! With a large team we managed to get what was thought to be a three day task and finish it within a day! A few people cutting, others raking and burning! This winter has been the wettest on record, and on a particularly wet and miserable Wednesday we put up a stock fence along the boundary between fields 14 and 13 in order to...

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