Breaking New Ground

Reconnecting People with The Brecks

Work Placements

12 landscape and heritage work placements are being delivered in the Brecks to give opportunities to young people or those looking for a career change. Working with BNG partners, placements will gain essential experience towards their intended career in nature or heritage conservation.

Organisations have been able to bid for funds to support heritage and landscape focussed work placements across a wide age range for those wanting to learn some of the specific skills needed to work in these fields in the Brecks.

Those who have benefitted from these opportunities so far include;

  • Dougal Meredith at West Stow Country Park, who attended heritage building skills courses as part of his placement in order to improve his skill base and has gone on to receive employment at the park. Film production enthusiasts
  • Neil Hutchinson and Amy Houchin worked with Ember Films on the production of a short docu-drama style film about Thetford Warren Lodge which is due for release this autumn, and which will go on to be part of BNG’s fantastic educational resources for local schools. Felicity Locke has been working alongside Mia Witham at the Green Light Trust to experience delivery of outdoor education sessions.
  • Jake Blade has been working with Suffolk Wildlife Trust at Knettishall Heath over the summer, undertaking wildlife courses, managing monitoring studies and working with the volunteers.
  • Alexandra Hampson, a recent Masters graduate from the University of Nottingham has also been working with Suffolk Wildlife Trust on a formal research project to assess the impact otters are having on the local landscape at Lackford Lakes.
  • Again at SWT’s Lackford Lakes, Kathryn Falkner (below) has been working with local school groups and helping to compile Brecks focussed teaching resources for education sessions.
  • Sara Marshall has been working at Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service

The experience of working at Lackford, utilising the funding from BNG, has certainly enhanced my own understanding of Breckland species.  If I am able to work or volunteer in an outdoor education environment again in the future, then everything I have done so far will be invaluable.  It has also meant I have been able to produce resources such as the [Lackford Lakes] Brecks trail in a more informed way.  I hope that children of different ages and experiences can continue making good use of the resources and equipment which BNG has funded for many years into the future.” said Kathryn Faulkner, BNG work placement at Lackford Lakes.

Samantha Gay of Suffolk Wildlife Trust said of Jake’s placement “The funding has allowed us to take Jake on at least three days a week which has been quite crucial and we’ve been able to give him small projects to take on such as leading a whole new volunteer team or setting up a new survey that we perhaps wouldn’t have had the chance to do at all this year so it’s been really valuable to us to have an extra person to give those small projects to”.

Most placements have been agreed already but we still have a number of placements offer to organisations in the Brecks. Funding of up to £700 (including up to £200 for expenses) can be provided to host a placement. If you are part of an organisation working in Heritage or Landscape Conservation and would like to offer an opportunity to a student or career change placement, please send your proposal to bng.admin@suffolk.gov.uk or give the BNG team a call in the office on 01842 815465 to have a chat.