Katie - Carbon Landscape Trainee

Katie has mainly been working alongside the delivery team at Lancashire Wildlife Trust however has also benefited from the partnership, gaining the opportunity to work alongside City of Trees. Upon completion of her traineeship she wants to go on to work either in a communications role or as a project officer, working for wildlife and the community.

My Traineeship has covered a wide variety of activities. I have been involved with practical conservation work and mossland conservation work across various mossland habitats as well as wildlife survey training and event delivery. I have been able to contribute tangible conservation work across the Great Manchester Wetlands. At the Wigan Flashes for instance, I helped to deliver site improvements for bittern; an Amber List and schedule 1 species. And at Woolston eyes, scrub clearance and man-made island maintenance helped to improve the site for a variety of breeding waders.

A lot of my time has been spent away from the office doing practical conservation work which I have really enjoyed. Through this placement I have received training and carried out surveys for birds, water voles, bryophytes and winter bats in the Forest of Bowland. I have also been trained in using a brushcutter and in pesticide management (PA1 and PA6w Level 3 safe use of pesticides and safe use of pesticides near water).

Office based activities such as bid writing, maintaining our blog site and helping to deliver AQA training courses to members of the public have also been hugely beneficial for my career development. I have also had the opportunity to be involved in numerous meetings across the carbon landscape which has been fantastic for networking and gaining contacts.

I spent some time with City of Trees, one of our partners, helping them carry out orchard maintenance and tree planting with schools. I also got to work on other Lancashire Wildlife Trust Projects including Myplace and Freshfield dune heath.

My traineeship has been a fantastic experience, it has given me the freedom and guidance to explore lots of different career paths and make useful connections across the carbon landscape. Throughout my traineeship I have been encouraged to develop my leadership skills. Over the duration of this placement I have gained skills in management, project development and delivering group work, I also successfully coordinated my own event for members of the public.

Once my traineeship is complete I would like to gain employment as a project officer. I am really interested in working to engage local communities with wildlife and manage groups to carry out practical conservation work. I would also like to have some part in communications as this is also really important for sustaining and steering people’s attitudes towards wildlife.

Some advice that I would give to anyone looking at a similar opportunity would be to take some time to self-evaluate and consider the skills you need to develop before you start. Other than that I would say just go for it.

A couple of improvements for the programme that I would suggest would be more training budget and guidelines of expectations for trainees.