2022 was a personal career feat. It was my first full year in a professional job and my goodness was it worth the previous years spent volunteering, training and university-ing – also known as studying?! Not only am I grateful for finally making it into the role I have sought after for all those years, but also to Ambios, who after a one-day badger camera trapping training course, in 2016, and a 3-month overseas (Norway) vocational training course, in 2019, offered me the Conservation Ranger Role mid 2021, halfway into my 9-month residential volunteering role.
In many ways the role has just been a continuation and expansion of the training/volunteering that I had undertaken priorly. Ambios have encouraged my curiosities to become studies. Funding further training through FSC’s Biolinks Project (shoutout to Keiron Brown in particular) has enabled me to add bees, earthworms and spiders to our Rewilding Friday species monitoring sessions. Similarly, I have been able to infect more people with the ‘Moth bug’ through running a presentation and survey session with each cohort this year.
Including these and our other survey efforts we have added, 4 earthworms, 6 spiders, 40+ bees, 100+ moths, 1 butterfly, 5 birds, 10+ fungi plus so much more. This couldn’t have been achieved without our wonderful Wild4People volunteers, Ambios trainees, Mike Cooke – our Ambios nature-know-it-all, Kim Lever, John Walters, Josh Smith who helped with Bioblitz and other continuous survey work, our newly founded (this year) moth group – Chris Vincent especially for organising the unruly bunch, plus everyone who engaged with us on the Mindfulness retreats at Sharpham, school visits, particularly those who filled us with the excitement of finding a moth that had 5 records in Devon in 2021!!
All that’s left to say is bring on 2023! January will see our conservation volunteers finishing up the last of our tree guards in preparation for planting out the last of our 80 parkland trees, and our rewilding volunteers will be conducting a more extensive earthworm survey. The following months we will continue to monitor the changes we’re seeing in the rewilding fields.
Wishing you all the very best for the year to come!