With September coming to an end, the end of my traineeship is suddenly feeling very imminent! It feels crazy that I only have one month left with Froglife – the past year has really flown by! This month I gave a presentation to Froglife’s Board of Trustees on my Traineeship. It was really nice looking back over all the things I’ve done in the past year, and although the time has passed quickly it became very apparent that I’ve still managed to do a lot in that time which is amazing.
Although my traineeship is nearly coming to an end now, the final stretch is going to be a busy one! Earlier in the year I wrote a proposal for Froglife to run an Exhibition Stand at COP26 in Glasgow, and we have been accepted! This is such an exciting opportunity and I am beyond thrilled as I have been trusted to take the lead for the event. I am so pleased that I have been given the opportunity to lead given the importance of COP26, and I know it will be an amazing experience. The Exhibition Stand will also be a collaboration with the British Dragonfly Society, so it is a nice way to gain experience working in partnership with other organisations too.
The stand will highlight the role that ponds play as carbon sinks, with their impressive ability to absorb and store carbon. They have the potential to be a very useful tool in tackling global climate change, and this is the message I intend to share at COP26. We will be delivering a few interactive activities, with the main one being a model pond activity using two recycled tub-trug ‘ponds’ and a number of handmade pond props. We will be encouraging people to get stuck in and have a go at creating their idea of a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ponds, prompting discussion around why ponds are important, and what makes a good pond. We are also asking people to share their messages for world leaders with us, so that we can make their voices heard at COP26. We will be sharing their messages through an interactive pond dip/message dip activity, and displayed on large screens. I am so, so excited for this and I will spend the next few weeks busying myself creating pond props and planning!
This month I also finally got the opportunity to go along to our Virtual Reality exhibition at Vibration Festival in Falkirk. We were unable to deliver this activity throughout lockdown but I’ve been looking forward to trying it out. Our virtual reality technology allows the user to see the world through the eyes of a Common Toad trying to reach its breeding pond, which is a really unique and innovative way to teach about the serious issue of wildlife road mortality. Unfortunately we still cannot safely use headsets due to the risk of spreading Covid-19, but we are able to display the videos on tablets so that users can still gain the benefits.
I have also started my final training course – Mapping as a Tool for Conservationists (WildlifeACT). This is an introduction to GIS which is a skill I have wanted to learn for some time. GIS is such a valuable skill to have in the field of conservation and has so many different uses, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into this course in the coming weeks!