Getting to know the West
As a foreigner to the West Country (home is East Anglia), I was keen to explore what the area had to offer. Since my time here I have visited Gloucester Quays, Cathedral and various shopping centres (comes as no surprise). I have ventured further to Cheltenham a few times (alas, Gloucester does not yet have a Wagamamas) and visited The Wilson art gallery there. I went whilst the ‘Fake: The Great Reveal’ exhibition was on, and was amazing to see how hard it is to tell a copy from the real artists work. I have also been to the Forest of Dean, stopping at Little Dean for some rare sunshiny-ish photos.
Through a contact at CCRI (shout out to Isabel Fielden), I was told about the work Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust are doing and the free course they were currently offering to 16-24 year olds.
I jumped at the chance (and no, not just because the word free was mentioned), because it would be the perfect opportunity to utilise my personal development time that I am entitled to as a Placement Student here. The course being offered was part of Our Bright Futures, and aimed to give young people practical skills in habitat management.
I arrived at a community centre in the middle of a council estate to be greeted by a herd of sheep! The sessions are not only great fun but I feel like I am learning and giving something back to the community, and it’s also a great chance to make friends with like-minded people. On my first session, I was proudly shown the ‘Hedgehog Fortress’ which had been created from scraps of wood and definitely deserved its title. The sessions give me a chance to get practical outside, something which is craved after long hours at a desk!
As winter approaches and the weather gets colder we do have the workshop to take shelter and defrost in which is reassuring!
After 8 sessions the course will come to an end and I will have earnt 2 AQA certificates. I expect to continue with the group after this time, until dissertation prep comes calling.
Watch this space…