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On the Road to a Conservation Career

Posted: Thursday 27th October 2016 by Volunteering

Our Voluntary Trainee Rangers are an incredible asset to the Trust but they also get an incredible amount out of training with us for a year.

Our trainees have a lot to learn in one short year so they’ve already learnt a lot and got stuck into some great projects since starting at the start of the Autumn. Max Sheldon gives us an account of how he is finding it so far.
My name is Max Sheldon and I am the new Voluntary Trainee Ranger for the East Team as part of the Surrey Wildlife Trust:

I started in September and straight away the team made me feel welcome and we got stuck into practical conservation work. So far I have worked on a number of sites doing various tasks like buddleia clearance at Dukes Yew Plantation, clearing scrub for the a new and permanent livestock fence at Brockham lime kilns, scrub clearance at Spynes Mere and tree felling at Blindley Heath. The scrub and tree clearance on some sites is a vital part of conservation. Without that management the natural process of succession would mean that over time most habitats would revert to woodland and we want to keep a mosaic and variety of habitats. 

I’ve helped with the Sawmill Open Day at Norbury Park when I directed traffic flow in and out of the site (you never know where you might be needed!). There have also been some full-on days: we had a corporate event at Spynes Mere where employees from UK Power Network came out to help us clear scrub at the viewpoint. This will benefit regular visitors, particularly bird watchers, who enjoy watching the wildlife across the lake. The department days where each Surrey Wildlife Trust countryside team (North, East and South) come together at a site to join in a particular conservation task are thoroughly enjoyable. It’s great to have everyone working together, with all the power machines running and a lot of work gets done. It is also a great opportunity to have a good time, and to catch up with one another. 

I’m gaining a lot of new and valuable skills because of the number and variety of experiences on offer. The thing I enjoy about my time so far at Surrey Wildlife Trust is that no day working with the East Team is the same. Each day brings new challenges and experiences and I look forward to the rest of my internship with the Trust. 

We’ll be keeping up with Max and the other trainees to see how they progress through their traineeship. Watch this space!

Max Sheldon

Voluntary Trainee Ranger

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