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A Week in the Life of a Wildlife Trust

Join three students on their week-long work placement at Lackford Lakes with Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

In April 2024 , Suffolk Wildlife Trust interviewed for three week-long work placements at their Lackford Lakes nature reserve, with funding from BFER and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Milly, Tiana and Robyn were the successful applicants and Robyn has written a guest blog post about her week at the Wildlife Trust.

As a student passionate about the environment, I am always looking for ways to get involved and gain experience in the field. I was lucky enough to undertake work experience at Lackford Lakes for 5 days in April, and here’s what I got up to.

On my first day at Lackford Lakes, we got our hands dirty with some conservation work around the reserve. I used tools to cut back trees and clear reeds, I removed tree guards from juvenile trees and I recycled old wood chippings into a path around the lakes. Then we set a malaise trap to collect flying insects and left it overnight.

The next day, we met with the marketing and communications officer who taught us the strategies and methods behind running SWT’s website and social media pages. I participated by making informative video content for the SWT tiktok. After that, we collected the malaise trap and recorded our results to be sent off to BioScan. To finish off, I researched hedgehogs to make a fact sheet.

On day three I got involved with the holiday club. I spent the day with thirteen children, supervising and encouraging wildlife activities including identifying birds, making seed bombs and decorating wood cookies. I helped to prepare and serve them their lunch and dessert. It was fun to light a fire using flint and steel and cook them all quesadillas in the meadow.

My fourth day started with making a notice board to display and advertise the benefits of a SWT membership. I hand wrote information about SWT’s wildlife and conservation goals, and stapled and glued magazine materials to show what’s included in the membership. The rest of the day was spent cleaning, assembling and putting up bird feeders, reorganising shelves in the gift shop and counting and rearranging stock.

For my fifth and final day, I helped out with a family Easter trail event. I was stationed at an activity station where children could make nests for a toy bird, and I stamped their activity sheet in return. Once the event was over, I packed it down and cleaned up, then spent the afternoon pond dipping.

Overall it was a very enjoyable experience that opened my eyes to the range of careers available at SWT. It was invaluable experience and has further inspired me to pursue a career in the environmental field.

– by Robyn Chappell-Wood