There is no such thing as a typical day. However students will notice a model emerge to the way a week is structured. The week will start with a team meeting on Monday morning where plans for the week are drawn up, start times set and the domestic rota established. This would be followed by a language course for the remainder of the morning. Lunchtime would be a serve yourself affair. The afternoon would follow the language training with an element of specific training, typically following the theme of the language course. For instance the morning may use case studies of farming practice and conservation management, the afternoon would run a workshop on environmental stewardship and farm conservation.
This workshop would leave some homework to complete overnight. Someone would be on the rota for cooking that night, and would prepare a meal for all those staying in the bunkhouse (up to 10). All would eat together sharing their experiences of the day.
Tuesday is the day where we practice our public engagement, and spend the day working with the United Response group or a local school supporting their learning about nature conservation. This will be one of 5 sessions, leading up to a time where you would plan and deliver the entire session.
The Wednesday session would be scheduled to wrap up the Monday themed training, in this case on farm conservation, with a series of field work and indoor workshops. Wednesday evening may be the day where you have to gather species data. With projects including bats, bees and badgers, there will be a routine element of data collection carried out in the shoulder times of the programme (early mornings, late evenings).
Thursday is our practical conservation management, hands on day with activities ranging from stone walling, to fencing, deck building, habitat management and working with volunteers. These tasks would either be carried out on the farm or on the Sharpham Estate.
Friday would be a day set aside to bring together the theme of the week (in this instance farm conservation management.) This may mean a field trip to a reserve, talking to those working in the conservation sector in UK, and learning about different management techniques, or a particular
survey/monitoring task. These range from quadrat samples, to species specific surveys, and will always be pre empted by themed training to ensure you have the skills and confidence to carry out the task.
Friday would also have some time set aside for any personal learning reflections, with
chance to talk to the team about your personal learning journey, and any observations or concerns you may have.
The weekend is free of training but there will be a requirement to apply some of the learning you have, going out with your binoculars or your guide books and becoming more familiar with some of the subject matter. There is occasional weekend work, however there will be time to explore the local area, visit the local town, or meet friends and family. The domestic rota will continue through the weekend.