Since our last post, the WildGround team have been working hard all over Gateshead and South Tyneside.
Ferndene is really beginning to take shape. In the last few weeks we’ve had help from one of Gateshead Council’s arbour teams who have felled to open up the view and canopy. This has made a big difference and, in conjunction with volunteer planting days in the coming weeks, will really improve the experience for visitors to the dene.
If you would like to volunteer at Ferndene in Ryton, helping the WildGround team and the Friends of group plant up the dene then come along Tues 15th, 22nd and 29th November 11 – 1pm, meet at the pavilion where soup, roll and hot drinks will be provided.
The team have been cracking on with the paperwork towards our diploma. We have completed half of the modules now and, this week, began a new fencing module. Working on the Tilesheds STC Local Nature Reserve with Mark Connelly, a conservation orientated contractor, we learnt how to build a post and wire fence. Mark was a great teacher and we all got really stuck in and had a great few days.
All of the trainees have to undergo a thorough health and safety assessment and this week it was Anthony’s turn. He very successfully led the team in carrying out a pruning and cutting task in Saint Stephen’s Park, STC. We improved footpath access and litter picked for the benefits of the community.
On top of what we are learning on our course, each of the trainees attend a self-negotiated work placement on Mondays; giving each of us further skills as well as providing valuable experiences of working in the sector. Current placements that trainees are involved with include: Groundwork North East, Sustrans as well as the good old Durham Wildlife Trust.
As we are now in the last few months of our course, Alyson from Uplift Associates is helping us to improve our CVs and give us advise and help in looking for and applying for jobs. We’re all incredibly grateful for the guidance that she has given us since April and have all noticed positive changes in our characters because of it.
In the next few weeks in the run up to our much deserved winter break, we will be starting our wetlands and woodlands modules; giving us even more tricks up our sleeves.
Written by Jonathan Stallard