Today marks the end of the first month of the Carbon Landscape Trainee Placement. Me and Stu have been lucky enough to have had the previous trainees Andy, Helen and Emma with us for a handover period for the first two weeks. This was a massive help to establish a list of routine tasks we would have to take over. One such task is the River Guardian and Riverfly Monitoring of sample sites in Hindley for the Mersey River Trust which is conducted on a monthly basis. A training session of each programme has to be carried out before you can go out in the field and conduct a River Guardian or Riverfly Monitoring surveys
I have also spent this month planning upcoming events and helped to support one such event recently, a foraging walk. I have always been interested in wildflowers and naturally foraging has always been something I have wanted to learn more about, and this event really didn’t disappoint. It was led by foraging extraordinaire David Winnard from Discover The Wild (https://www.discoverthewild.co.uk/). The event was held at Woolston Park with the Friends of Woolston Park and was throughly enjoyed by all who attended. I tried Hawthorn (Crataegus mongyna) for the firs time and Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). I also learnt about the problems with relying on scent in foraging. As whereas most people can agree on the scent of Garlic mustard, a plant like Hawthorn can elicit different responses, a common one is that it smells like death. Also if something smells good it doesn’t always mean that it is edible either and vice versa. I also smelt Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) which immediately reminded me of Germolene.
The Great British Spring Clean this year took place between the 23rd March 2019 – 23rd April 2019. Me and Becky attended a litter pick in Little Hulton, as we are carying out a project in the area over the coming months. One of the aims of the project is to raise awareness of litter in the area and the detrimental impacts it can have for people and wildlife. We all managed to do a fantastic job in just over an hour. The most common item found were plastic wrappers and bottle tops.
This month has been a month of understanding expectations and workload and getting used to the routine. It has also involved opportunities to start getting more focused and involved with ongoing and upcoming projects.