From the 17th of July to the 20th, I have been working with Froglife to gain some experience in the world of work. The week was packed with interesting activities that varied from chopping down willow to helping line a pond. These tasks helped to build some key skills within the workplace, such as working well within a team and solving any problems we came across.
Monday morning started with an induction, during which I was introduced to other members of staff at Froglife, given a tour of the Froglife building and informed of safety procedures.
Soon after, I was shown how Froglife’s social media pages are managed. As it’s an account that posts three times a day, the posts are scheduled to be released at specific times.
Followed by this, I visited Castor Hang lands with two members of staff and another work experience student. Our task was to cut down the willow around the pond. This was important because the willow absorbs the pond water.
Once we had finished in Castor, we went to a nature reserve to search for some grass snakes, adders and slow worms underneath the mats. We were quite successful and managed to capture some great pictures, for example, the picture on the right of the adder that we met.
On Tuesday morning, our task was to clear the lining of a pond at the allotment – we cleared the water from the bottom of the pond and helped to shovel some soil away from the liner and onto the bank of the pond.
In the afternoon, we were still working on the pond liner but after clearing the liner underneath, we had to lay a felt underlay over the previous liner and then a new liner on top of the underlay. After this, we needed to cover the liner with a felt overlay. The felt had to be rolled out in the opposite direction to the underlay to ensure that the liner has enough support to hold the pressure of the water when the pond is completed and full.
To complete the pond lining process, the overlay had to be covered with the soil that we had removed that morning and water to weigh it down. Due to the fact that the working day was coming to an end, it was important that we made sure that all of the excess liner was weighed down – we rolled it up and placed tyres on it.
Wednesday began with a trip to Boardwalks. We practiced geocaching – we hid eight objects around a specific route and punched the coordinates into the GPS. Next, we had to walk round the same route but this time we used the GPS to track down the objects that were hidden. I found this quite fun because I’d not used a GPS before then.
The next activity at Boardwalks was recording the frequency of certain types of butterflies we could see as we walked around six different routes. This was interesting too because I learnt the names of lots of different types of butterflies and learnt how to identify them when their wings are open and closed. The most common butterflies were the Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper butterflies, however we also came across a few Small Skippers and Red Admirals as well as Small Whites.
Later on, we visited the Green Backyard where we did some pond dipping. In the pond, we found a small newt and several different dragonfly nymphs. We also came across a big frog that was unfortunately too quick for us to catch and have a look at.