Friday, 26 May 2017

Work placement with Community Science



Guest blog post by Ellie Shaw
 
I chose to come to Moors for the Future Partnership for my work experience, working with the Community Science team I have seen and taken part in a large range of activities and developed lots of skills.

I have listened to talks about what Moors for the Future do and how they do it and have attended a bumblebee training session in Todmorden where, with a few other members of the local community, we learnt how to identify and record the different types of bees. 


In the afternoon we tried to put what we had learned into practice and went for a walk around the local area, despite there being a lot of flowers and plants, we saw relatively few bees, 5 or 6 early bumblebees, some tree bumblebees and a Common Carder queen bee which I found on a car.



I also helped at an event at Chatsworth where we, myself, Joe and some casual members of staff, set up and ran the teachers preview event in the stick yard to raise awareness but also as a practice for the following weekend. 

As well as various information boards and activities such as matching the caterpillar with the butterfly we had various demonstrations, one showing the blocking up of gullies by pouring water down tubes, one smooth, one grassy and another grass and model gullies demonstrating how the work MFFP do slows down the water and allows sediment to build. We also took peaty water and poured it through a bottle filled with sphagnum moss to show how well it cleans the water.

With school I had to set myself three goals for the week, to improve on analysing figures, improve on problem solving skills and build on my knowledge of using online programs. I feel as though I have achieved all three, I have learnt to analyse records of sighting and been able to input them into iRecord using other programs to help me find the needed information and I have built on problem solving skills through many things such as helping to organise and set up events.

It has been a great week which I have really enjoyed. The range of different things I have seen and done has given me plenty of ideas about what I want to do in the future and a much larger awareness for what is around me. Thank you.


Monday, 9 January 2017

Buds, Berries and Leaves survey: A volunteer view



Guest post by Community Science volunteer Jeff Kessler: 


So, here I am slowly walking up a steep hillside. I’m a bit short of breath & the wind’s cold and has a bit of a bite to it but do I care? No, because the sunshine is glorious & the views are just stunning. 

The other side of Luddenden Dean is a patchwork of fields & woodland; steeper lower down then a shallower slope higher up as it becomes the shelf. Above that is the moor, bleaker but still beautiful & full of life, albeit not quite as showy as some other habitats.

Volunteers undertaking a Buds, Berries and Leaves survey...

I’m on my way from Jerusalem Farm car park to the beginning of the Midgley Moor transect to do the Buds, Berries and Leaves Survey. It’s an easy task, I just have check & record whether the specific plants being surveyed have buds, berries or leaves on them. 

I’ll then pass on the data to Moors for the Future, who’ll use it to learn about changes in the timing of events in the plants’ life cycles; important information to track the effects of climate change. I don’t need to be a botanist, or even know that much about plants to do this, I got the training I need in a day & I know I can contact the Moors for the Future Community Science team if I need any advice.

So, what do I get from doing this survey work for Moors for the Future? I’ve learnt more about certain plants & the moorland habitat, & have now started to work on my general plant id skills & understanding of ecology; I get the satisfaction of contributing to scientific investigation of the natural environment & how to protect it; I get lots of fresh air & exercise; if I’m lucky I’ll see a kestrel or other bird of prey!

All round, well worth doing!