A Fond Farewell

Monday 13th November 2017

A fond farewell to our Biodiverse Society Trainees and as their traineeship came to a close Johnny Pescod and Paul Jones tell us what they’ve been up to….

September has been the month of the office for the trainees, despite the occasional sunshine we’ve been snowed under with report writing. Our time has largely been occupied with site descriptions, management recommendations, and GIS mapping, leaving little occasion to get out and about as we approach the end of the traineeship. These impending deadlines did however present us with one opportunity – on the 19th we took part in a Biodiverse Society staff celebration event.

Trainees past and present came together with Jo Moore, Julia Simons, and Cheryl Knott and Joan Hunter to cruise along the Leeds-Liverpool canal in a barge, with each of us taking a turn at the helm! Eating lunch in the sun and catching up with old faces as we floated along was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and a highlight of mine was following a kingfisher down the canal. We stretched our legs for a couple of hours with a walk along Cheshire Lines, before heading to The Sandpiper for a pub dinner and plenty of conversation!

The next day was the penultimate day of the Plant Natural History course, and this month’s focus was on plants’ reactions to animal interactions. After learning about the weird and wonderful responses which exist in plants worldwide, we headed out for an informative walk to look for plant galls, growths caused by predation or parasitisation of the plant.

October was a surprisingly eventful and busy month. In between being busy with report writing we were preparing for the LWT’s Annual Volunteer Conference. This included preparing presentations related to our personal projects, creating display boards for the day and shopping for a ridiculous number of biscuits. The conference gave us another opportunity to network with volunteers from different sections of Lancashire Wildlife Trust and find out what they have been doing this year as well as providing information on what we have been up to. While Mark celebrated his birthday in Sweden myself, Amelia and Johnny successfully presented our presentations to a room full of 170 volunteers and staff.

On Monday the 16th October the trainees held their Celebration Event at Lancashire Wildlife Trusts Lunt Meadows Nature Reserve. This was an opportunity for the trainees and volunteers from the Biodiverse Society Project to come together and celebrate the end of the project with some biological recording on the site. This was my first time visiting Lunt Meadows and this has been a personal highlight for me throughout the traineeship, visiting a variety of different private and publicly owned sites with a vast array of habitat types. Highlights of the day include the mysterious red sun and Clive Washington’s futuristic tool to capture beetles and insects for identification. 

On Thursday the 19th we capped the end of her traineeship with helping the education team at Brockholes, leading groups of foundation degree Liverpool John Moore’s student’s carry out different survey techniques in a grassland and woodland habitat. This was an excellent way for us to gain some new skills before we finished our traineeship and we all appreciated and enjoyed this experience and hope the students enjoyed it too. Once again, from all the trainees’ thank you, we would not have achieved everything we have done on the traineeship without you all!