I started volunteering at the Wildlife Trust in July as a Monitoring and Research intern for 6 weeks as part of the University of Cambridge’s biodiversity internship scheme.
I was excited to work with the Trust as an opportunity to help and learn more about the nature reserves and local wildlife, especially since it is difficult for me to access these areas without a car (nor a driver’s license)!
The main goal of the internship was to experience many different aspects of the Trust’s work – and I certainly did just that! I helped with: drone surveys, mapping vegetation on reserves in GIS, video editing, volunteer work parties, Himalayan balsam and rose bay willow herb removal, Peterborough green festival; butterfly surveys, aquatic plant surveys at the Great Fen, dormouse surveys, pond restoration… and more!
The internship was a great way to see conservation management in action and apply ecological theories learnt at university to a variety real life examples in the work carried out by the Trust. I learnt about how wildlife is monitored, how reserves are managed and how we can use data collected from surveys to inform management decisions. I also managed to improve my animal and plant identification skills (a personal goal I was keen to achieve) thanks to the M&R team and volunteers imparting their wildlife knowledge.
Experiencing different aspects of conservation work has opened up ideas for future career choices – I am still not fully sure what I would like to do, however after working with the Trust for 6 weeks, I would happily return to such work in the future.
This October I will be entering my 3rd year of studying Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, with a focus on ecology and conservation modules, so for now I will put all my concentration into that! After graduation, I would like to do some conservation or biology work before applying for further studies.