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Further Down the Road to a Conservation Career

Posted: Tuesday 13th December 2016 by Volunteering

With a few months under their belts our Voluntary Trainee Rangers are coming along in leaps and bounds!

Scott Hudson updates us on how it is all going and the important lessons he has learnt about always providing refreshments!

After being out of environmental work for the last two years, it’s great to be back working in a field that I’m passionate about with new challenges on the horizon. I’ve been a Voluntary Trainee  Ranger with the Trust's north team for about four months now. This has primarily been at Wisley and Ockham Common working closely with Assistant Ranger Michael Jones.

With Michael as a mentor, I’ve familiarised myself with the two heathland sites; understanding their ecological value, biodiversity and management. The latter being the most crucial, as the biggest threat to lowland heathland habitat is the lack of suitable management. Being a semi-natural habitat, created through agricultural activity by man several thousand years ago, we are required to carry out various management techniques to replicate what happened to prevent the heathland from reverting to woodland.

With the help of hardworking volunteers, Michael and I have been able to clear large swathes of invasive birch trees and scrub. Some of the landscape at Wisley Common is now quite a sight to behold and we hope that we will see heather regeneration over the coming years.

I have also had the opportunity to do some work at Chobham Common, building boardwalks through some very picturesque areas and digging new ponds. Additionally, I had the opportunity to assist at a fun christmassy corporate event where I got to meet people with various interesting backgrounds. The catering was particularly excellent.

Meeting hard-working volunteers, rangers and like-minded people has been a delight and a rewarding experience. I look forward to working with them over the course of the year and the foreseeable future.

One thing I have learnt that stands above all (that causes more panic than a group of mushroom pickers) is never to forget to bring tea and cake!

Scott Hudson

Voluntary Trainee Ranger
 

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