The diversity of conservation

From volunteer work parties and researching crayfish to writing reports and management plans, Amy is finding that there's more to conservation than meets the eye...

I am sure that many people who work in the conservation sector will agree with me; it is so diverse! I have learnt, in my nearly four months of the traineeship, that there is so much more than meets the eye when it comes to working in conservation.

When I first started volunteering with Worcestershire Wildlife Trust youth group two years ago, I thought that most of the work that was involved in conservation was practical. Since starting the traineeship I have had the opportunity to submerge myself in not only practical tasks but a lot of admin and project work too.

Woman working on a laptop on a desk

I currently have a few projects that I am working on; my largest project is the Bird Survey Report that I am writing, which has not only enabled me to draw links between breeding birds on Lower Smite Farm and on a national scale but has also helped me learn more about specific bird species and how to identify them.

Alongside this project I am working with Eleanor, one of the reserves officers, and Jake, one of my fellow trainees, to create a management plan for a small site that Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has recently taken ownership of; all very exciting work to be a part of!

Towards the beginning of the traineeship all four of us trainees were set a research project and mine was on the white-clawed crayfish (a native species of crayfish found here in the UK and on some of our nature reserves in Worcestershire). This project was super-interesting as I have been able to research and create a Conservation Management Plan for this specific species and learn about its habitat.

Another aspect of the traineeship that we get to take part in is responding to Volunteer Enquiries. I am really enjoying this as we are able to follow the journey of an individual from their initial enquiry to becoming a fully-fledged volunteer! It also allows us to speak to so many new people of all skill types and backgrounds who are coming together to make Worcestershire a better place for wildlife.

Woman leaning on a newly installed waymarker

This traineeship is the perfect hands-on classroom! It has thus far (and will continue to be in the upcoming months) a large learning opportunity. We have had the chance to dip our toes into everything at WWT, from volunteer work parties and roving tasks to the planning and development processes within the Trust. Everyone who works here has a wealth of knowledge and our opportunities are endless; it's brilliant for anyone who wants to pursue a career in conservation but is unsure of where they want to start.

As for our own journey, we have already taken part in various bits of training. So far two trainees have recently completed their chainsaw trainsaw courses and passed with flying colours! All four of us are fully first aid trained, safeguarding trained and leadership trained, meaning we can lead volunteer work parties as well as work independently on reserves. We are planning to do lots more training such as mapping software, brush-cutter use, two more chainsaw courses, ID courses and so much more.

I am positive I can vouch for the rest of the trainee team when I say that we can’t wait to get stuck into even more that WWT has to offer!


An original member of our Outdoor Origins youth volunteer group, Amy Fleming loves everything wild. She is hoping that her traineeship will lead to a career in conservation where she'll be able to make a difference for our wildlife and environment.