Adventures of an Apprentice
November 4, 2021
Introducing Keziah! Keziah (on the left!) joined our Environmental Apprenticeship Scheme this year, as an apprentice at Cumbria Wildlife Trust.
“I’ve had an amazing experience so far,” Keziah said. “We’ve been dock pulling, nettle digging, bracken bashing, clearing barns, osprey ringing, taking part in several events and interacting with lots of different people. I love participating in tasks which the local community have been doing for hundreds of years. It’s only been a few months and it’s been so rewarding already. I really am living the dream!”
Here’s a few entries from Keziah’s work diary this summer…
15 June – Meadow trip and Radio Interview
We meet in Kirby Stephen in perfect timing to witness the swifts soaring around above our heads! Then off for a brilliant Yorkshire Dales road trip before our Radio interview. Upon winding up the track on the moors our first stop was at Ravenseat to have a fangirl moment and hear the curlews. We then arrived at Muker to see the most magnificent hay meadows full of wildflowers. I really enjoyed testing my knowledge on all the wildflowers Wal has taught me, can’t wait to see Bowber Head in a similar colourful array! England’s highest pub proved to be a brill lunch spot with great views. In the afternoon we meet with Helen Millican and Alan-the honorary reserve manager at Waitby. Alan showed us these spectacular orchids! It was a great experience being interviewed by Helen, she was super friendly, just like having a great natter! Jack and I got to speak about our brilliant roles! WE ARE LIVING THE DREAM.
25 June – College day Dry Stone Walling
A full day spent learning how to dry stone wall; an ancient practice dating back to at least the iron age. It was a tough physical day, it is a craft which requires great skill in being able to ‘read’ the stones and physical ability in lifting and manoeuvring them-particularly the top pieces. I learnt how to lay the foundations, what through stones are and end stones and the importance of small binding stones. Our wall turned out pretty good! Tutor Ed approved!
11 July – Green Futures Youth Summit
I was invited to join the YDMT youth weekend away as a staff volunteer. It was a collection of youth from various YDMT youth nature groups ages 11-18. A whole weekend of learning; event planning, youth leading, craft leading, nature walks and a great opportunity to network! It was ace to witness the great work the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust do. I specifically liked the bush craft activities which has furthered my interest in forests schools. I had a great conversation with Fiona who runs Forest school sessions with YDMT and it was inspiring to hear of her focus on nature and wellbeing for youth- love this idea!
3 August – Nottingham Wildlife Trust Youth Team Visit
I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to take the Youth group from Nottingham Wildlife Trust around Foulshaw Moss. Having not done one of them before it was a great learning experience in how to give presentations on the go, out in the field and how to conduct yourself, network with other Trusts and engage with young people. I brushed up my knowledge on peatland bogs and enjoyed sharing it with the group. I spoke about the importance and rarity of bogs, how they form, our management, history of Foulshaw, species there, about the breeding Opsrey pair and the reintroduced success story of white faced darters. The group were awesome and we got to discuss hot topics like carbon offset! It was great to meet Luna the emotional support dog- she slept on my toes and I got to hear of the tails of her ground breaking support to numerous young people! The group invited me to go paddle boarding on Lake Windermere afterwards. A great end to the day!
19 August – Strimming, Strimming, strimming
Haybridge is a special place, it was great to meet Keith and Helen and get a ride in ‘Derek’ the trendy polaris! We were tasked with strimming patches in the rushes on the flooded meadow to help plug planters get in and plant! It was a hard days work with a quick siesta in the rushes at lunch!