Thursday, 26 June 2014

Devon Wildlife Trust Placements, June 2014

by Daniel Hosking, Jordan Holmes and Hayley Partridge

The three of us have just started a six-month placement with Devon Wildlife Trust. Each year, three students from the BSc Conservation Biology degree are given the opportunity to get valuable experience with the Trust, after an interview process. We started work at the start of June with the North Devon Nature Improvement Area (NIA) team at the Cookworthy Office near Holsworthy. We plan to write regular updates here to give an impression of the work we have been doing.

Marsh Fritillary
(Photo: Hayley Partridge)
Covering 72,000 hectares, the NIA aims to work with local landowners and the community to improve the quality of the River Torridge and restore important habitats, one of which is culm grassland. North Devon holds 35% of the UK’s remaining culm, which is a mixture of wet heath, rush pasture, mire and swamp. Many rare species are found here, including wavy St John’s wort and whorled caraway, and the nationally scarce marsh fritillary butterfly. This species has suffered a population decline of 60% since 1990, which is one of the reasons we will be monitoring this species over the course of the placement.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Lab plus field - a placement in environmental education

By Alina Tarnawska, BSc Conservation Biology

I had always planned on doing a placement year (the option was one of the reasons I initially chose to study at Plymouth) so I wanted to make the most of my 6 months by getting as much different experience as possible. 

In October 2013 I started a 6 month placement based in Plymouth University LABplus, an open access laboratory for undergraduate Science and Environment students. LABplus is an interactive space where students have access to resources that are specifically designed to facilitate learning of key concepts and principles directly related to their modules and courses. I had decided to split my time between helping develop new resources for the biology students in LABplus, volunteering with The Plymouth Woodland Project and a variety of school events as a student ambassador.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Plymouth Woodland Project film

India Bottomley, from Plymouth University's Faculty of Arts, has made a video about the Plymouth Woodland Project. The project is run from our School by Alison Smith, who features in the video, and who is also doing a PhD on climate change, woodlands and citizen science. Here's the link to India's video. If you like it, leave a comment...

There are regular posts on this blog about Plymouth Woodland Project events and Alison is always happy for student volunteers to get involved. If you are interested, please get in touch with her. It's fun and can make a difference to how someone interacts with the natural world for the rest of their life.