For the month of August I have been working alongside the lovely staff at YDMT as part of my summer of work experience (I’ve also been spending time working with PBA Applied Ecology, who are based in Settle).
After graduating in June with a degree in Geography, my time so far at YDMT has enabled me to utilise and apply the skills I’ve learnt… so I won’t be out of practice for starting my master’s degree in Biodiversity and Conservation in September!
My first week here consisted of getting to know everybody around the office and being introduced to all the great work that YDMT does on a daily basis.
My ‘activities’ have been varied and have allowed me to get an excellent overview of all the different projects and events that YDMT does.
I have been helping out Hannah and Chris with some administration work on the Stories in Stone project, whilst also doing some more outdoors-based work. These have included;
- Getting involved in the Hay Time project at The Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes, where I assisted Tanya and Shona putting on a drop-in workshop for children. I helped run educational activities about the special hay meadow habitats of the Yorkshire Dales by helping the kids plant wildflower seeds, and crafting some bumblebees and flowers!
- I attended a LEADER workshop in Masham with project co-ordinator Rima, aimed at helping people through the application process to request funding for a range of innovative community-driven projects across the Dales. LEADER funding is made available through the Rural Development Programme for England, which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union.
- ‘Woodland Day’ with Sarah D – an activity day at Malham Tarn put on for children involved in Barnardo’s Willow Project , which provides support for children and young people in the Leeds area who care for a family member affected by a physical or mental health illness, disability or substance misuse problem. Activities for the day here included making bird boxes and setting mammal traps (not harming any of them!!), with the aim of engaging the youngsters with the environment. This event was part of the Green Futures project.
- Creative Writing Walk with Sarah P where Jean Harrison, a local writer, took a small group of us around Clapham and up the Nature Trail and taught us how to use all our senses to observe the natural environment on this scenic stroll. We then used this inspiration from the walk as the basis for a creative writing workshop. Having not done any creative writing since I was at school, I was surprised at how much I thoroughly enjoyed this!
- A walk around Clapham with a Dementia group from Ilkley with Gail as part of the Green Futures project. The Rotary Club from Ilkley had organised this as a way to get the group out and about, and Gail gave an excellent guided tour to the group (on a very rainy day!!)
A big thanks to everyone at YDMT for making me feel so welcome here over the past two weeks and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next two weeks bring!!