It’s been a year and a half since I created this blog and I haven’t added anything to it since!
A bit of history…
It was through visiting the amazing blogs belonging to various members of A Focus On Nature (AFON) that made me decide I should have a go. Even if no-one else reads it, it will be a nice reminder to myself in however many years time when I’ll either be happy in a conservation related career or still struggling and still trying to get there.
So here you will find stories of my trials and tribulations, my trails and tales. This year I will be 25 years old. In September 2009 I started a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at The University of Nottingham. Within a year I had realised that my true passion, although still scientific, lay much more with the natural world and in the environment than in human based medicine, genetics, pharmacy and physiology. Don’t get me wrong, my degree course was fascinating; but I lost my motivation and enthusiasm when I realised that it wasn’t really going to help me get anywhere towards the kind of career I want for myself. However, I overcame personal problems and the stress I had put on myself, and finally graduated in December 2013. So I am proud of that.
For the past few years I have undertaken various voluntary roles. My first real experience of voluntary work was at Wild Future’s Monkey Sanctuary where I spent 11 weeks over the summers of 2011 and 2012 cleaning out the enclosures, preparing monkey (and human) food, identifying and picking wild plants for the monkeys to eat, waitressing and cooking in the onsite vegetarian cafe, getting involved in fundraising and promotion efforts at local events, general admin, database and office work and last but definitely not least: preparing and running the children’s activities workshops. I think it could have been this that made me realise that actually I’m quite good at communicating and engaging with children, and led me on to look for more volunteering opportunities when I moved to Nottingham for University.
My biggest and most regular involvement is as part of the Education & Community team for South Nottinghamshire with my local Wildlife Trust. My part time contract at the Nottingham University Library means that I have quite a bit of free time to get involved with the local school and community sessions that the education and community manager, Lynn, invites me along to which can be anything from tree measuring to pond dipping, litter picking to bird watching, orienteering to bug hunts, bat walks to den building. I absolutely love these sessions, and Lynn always makes me feel valued as a volunteer.
In 2013 I volunteered with AFON at BirdFair in Rutland. Myself and a couple of other volunteers commandeered children to add to a painted art mural themed around birds in the kid’s corner. We hoped to rival the adult’s art mural which had become a regular occurrence in the previous years. It was really successful (although of course it ended up not just with bird paintings but with drawings of spaceships and dinosaurs and sharks) and has continued to run in the years since.
This year I have become a ‘Wildlife Watch’ Leader for the Nottingham City Group based at Wollaton Park which is giving me my valuable experience in organising and planning activities and is really interesting and rewarding. I’m sure I’ll have more to write on this soon 🙂
In December 2013 I interviewed for one of the Heritage Lottery Funded ‘Skills for the Future’ training placements at Dorset Wildlife Trust which I unfortunately missed out on. I had two interviews at the beginning of this year. One was for a training placement for surveying and monitoring with Natural England and the other was for the position of Education Assistant with Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. Although I didn’t get either of the jobs, I did get a lot positive feedback and some tips on areas to improve (mostly my ID skills) so I am hopeful for a future in wildlife conservation.
That’s about all for now. I hope I can use this blog as a kind of diary to keep track of my journey, volunteering and fun times out with nature.
Thanks for reading if you got this far!