Wildlife Skills Trainee Scheme
Wildlife Skills is a scheme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in conjunction with Somerset, Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire Wildlife Trusts to each provide four Trainees of any age or background, the opportunity to gain paid full time, real world experience and specialist training for a year. Ensuring the next generation of environmental decision makers are well equipped for the challenges of the future. Read More.
Meet the trainees:
Practical Conservation Trainee
Based at Bradford on Tone, near Taunton.
To get to know Ralph, click here.
Practical Conservation Trainee
Based at Chancellor's Farm, near Cheddar.
To get to know Leighann, click here.
Volunteer and Community Engagement Trainee
Based at Callow Rock offices.
To get to know Abi, click here.
Survey and Monitoring Trainee
Based at Taunton HQ.
To get to know Becky, click here.
Chris Couldrey - 2014 Survey and Monitoring Trainee
Although Chris began his traineeship last year, the surveying position is 18 months long and so it will not be completed until December. So he will spend the following months putting all the skills he has learnt throughout the first year in practice during the busy survey season.
To get to know Chris, click here.
Last year's trainees:
The first year of trainees have now completed their traineeships and have flown the nest!
Read below for some handy fact files about each of them, and to see what they are up to now.
Beth Aucott - Practical Conservation Trainee
"I am currently an Assistant Ranger for the National Trust working on Studland Beach, Dorset. It's a seasonal role, so only for the summer, but I am gaining new experiences and rounding out my CV. I will be getting stuck back into the practical conservation work and utilising the skills I learnt as a trainee come September when I will be moving to be an Assistant Ranger on Dunstable Downs in Bedfordshire. The team there are working on some exciting chalk grassland restoration work, which I can't wait to get involved with. The site also offers some stunning views of the surrounding countryside, though obviously not quite as good as those from on Mendip!"
Claire Critchley - Volunteer and Community Engagement Trainee
"I am now working for the RSPB as a Learning and Visitor Experience Officer. It is the perfect job for me. I teach school and youth groups on a daily basis and run events and the visitor centre when I am not out teaching. In the long term I want to stay where I am because have high hopes and big plans for the Ribble Discovery Centre some of which may take a couple of years and funding bids to bring to fruition. Undoubtedly I could not do my current job without all the skills and experience I gained in my Traineeship. The lasting legacy for me though is the friendships I have made and it is something that continues to help in my current role."
Olivia Dullaghan - Practical Conservation Trainee
"I have just finished up with the Trust after what has been a fantastic year full of learning and laughter. I have gained a huge amount including practical experience, qualifications, I.D skills and a much better understanding of landscape scale conservation. I have made some fantastic new friends who really made this experience what it was. The staff and volunteers I have worked with have been inspiring with their passion for nature and dedication to conservation. Moving forward I am hoping to work in a ranger role and feel very positive about my future career in conservation."
Here they all are talking about the highlights of the year:
Spring has well and truly arrived on the reserves with more fantastic wildlife to be seen every day. We may be nearing the end of our time here with the Trust but with residentials and more training in amongst all our normal day to day tasks, we Trainees are still keeping ourselves very busy and making the most of the time we have left.
For our fourth and final residential we finally had the opportunity to welcome the other trainees to beautiful Somerset and share some of the reasons we’ve all fallen in love with this wonderful county.
Applications for the next set of Wildlife Skills Trainees are now open so to help you decide and find out a little bit more about the scheme we wrote an A to Z to tell you all about life as a Trainee.
Change can definitely be seen out on the reserves as Spring takes a stronger grip; the days are warmer, the flowers are blooming and the insects are beginning to buzz. Change is also happening with the Trainees as Claire has successfully found a job and the rest of us continue our training and begin the job hunt.