A group of students from Duchy College have been on a placement with us here in the Penwith Landscape Partnership, undertaking a number of different practical tasks out in the landscape to give them hands on experience. Just before Christmas they got together on a video meeting with our Volunteer Programme Coordinator, Nick, to share their experiences and write this blog about their work with the PLP.
"My name is Freddy Trewin, from Ruan Minor. and I am doing the Land and Wildlife Management LEVEL 3 course at Duchy college.
"I chose my course as I have a keen interest in British wildlife and how it is managed, and working with PLP is perfect because I prefer being outdoors than sat in the classroom. It gives us real life experience. It is very interesting to learn about old Bronze Age settlements in Penwith alongside other things.
"My main interest in wildlife is British birds and most weeks I will go for a walk in my local area and take my binoculars with me too see what I can find. It is a great thing to do all year round as in different seasons you have different birds. For example, in summer you can hear and see swallows returning from Africa to breed, then in winter birds like woodcock return from colder climates in Europe to over winter here.
In this picture it shows us on our first day with Nick about to learn how to use a scythe to manage an overgrown footpath!"
"Hi, I’m Erin Knight from Par and I’m a conservation student at Duchy college. I’m interested in protecting the species we have here in Cornwall and other species around the word.
"This week we’ve been working on my placement at PLP with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust to re-establish heathland. Heathland is a rare habitat in the UK and it is very important to protect it. In the photo I am scratching up the ground in order to spread heather seeds that we collected nearby in order to restore heathland in this area. Next, I will be sprinkling over seeds we collected."
"My name is Jay Abbott from Summercourt. I am doing an environmental course which I really enjoy. I love many things about nature and it fascinates me knowing about wildlife, their niches and what I can do to help them. It's all about being outdoor in the fresh air.
"In the picture where I am on my work placement with the Penwith Landscape Partnership, it’s very important work for all the wildlife and their habitats which have been declining. Here I am spreading heather seeds to re-establish another Heathland, because it’s a rare habitat. First the ground is scratched using a slasher to create patches of bare soil where the heather seed is then spread and then pressed down to hopefully germinate."
"Hiya I’m Shenice Baker I live in Hayle, I’ve chosen a conservation and wildlife course as it is something I am passionate about, also there are also many problems arising in this sector. In the future I think this will open up a whole new range of job opportunities for working in the countryside. In my course we have to carry out an amount of work experience hours, this is where the opportunity for working with Penwith Landscape Partnership came up.
"I love being out in the countryside and watching and learning how wildlife grows and evolves around us! One of my favourite places to visit is the woods as it is so diverse. I took the picture of some lovely moss growing on hedge we are working on, there is also pennywort growing here. This is something you may see like we did when carry out a hedge survey."
"Hi, I’m Louie White, I live in Mylor and I’m at Duchy College, studying Land and Wildlife Conservation.
"Last week me and my course were clearing an old over-grown track that was used for access to an area of land owned by Cornwall Wildlife Trust. The track was covered in bracken and brambles, we used tools such as scythes, loppers, shears and pitchforks to clear and move the waste.
"I decided to choose a Conservation course a few years ago because I’ve had a long-lasting interest in wildlife and how to preserve it, since nature needs it more than ever it’s important that people understand and appreciate wildlife, and know how to protect it. My Placement is helping me to do to this for real.
"What I love about wildlife and nature, is that whatever you are doing, even if it feels insignificant, you are contributing to the conservation and help of a certain species or habitat. This really helps to drive the work we do and enjoy it more."
"Hi, I'm Reece Barnicoat. I live in Lanner. I am coming down to Penwith to work with PLP for extra experience working in the field. I’m really enjoying the placement because I’m working outside, and doing practical activities that involve helping the environment.
"In the picture we are undertaking a hedge survey in which we are measuring the length of a Cornish stone hedge, and recording how it is made. the reason for this is so that we can then identify what plant species live with in the hedge, how old it is and how to protect it."
A big thank you to all of the students for sharing their experiences and their help in the Penwith landscape.