Breaking New Ground

Reconnecting People with The Brecks

Work Placements

The Heritage Skills Work Placement project co-ordinated the placement of young people and career changers with partner organisations to provide them with hands on experience. They worked with landscape heritage, biodiversity and other local organisations to develop their skills and improve their understanding and knowledge of heritage, conservation and land management in the Brecks. 12 people undertook placements over the three years. Some have led to full time employment and others have gone on to undertake further education or training with the intent to continue working or working towards a career in their chosen field. .

Those who have benefitted from these opportunities

  • 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.
  • Felicity Locke Felicity undertook a placement with Green Light Trust, assisting with their events for project D6 and other outdoor education activities. Felicity also undertook Forest Schools Level 2 training and became a qualified practitioner. Felicity went on to volunteer as a Forest Schools practitioner for the Green Light Trust.
  • Again at SWT’s Lackford Lakes, Kathryn Falkner (above) has been working with local school groups and helping to compile Brecks focussed teaching resources for education sessions.
  • Sara Marshall undertook a study into the ethics of biological recording alongside the NBIS team, also attending and helping out at several of the Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow training events and recording workshops. Sara’s research will be published in volume 2 of the Journal of Breckland Studies in 2018.
  • Kerry Ellis undertook an intensive two week placement with Norfolk FWAG, helping to pull together countryside stewardship applications for landowners in the Brecks. Kerry returned to Hampshire to undertake her final year at Sparsholt College but has been told she is welcome back to work with Norfolk FWAG in the future.
  • Alin Tarca worked with the RSPB Breckland team for several months during the stone curlew monitoring season. He input data collected by the field teams and analyse patterns to inform ongoing management decisions. He also went out into the field to aid with monitoring. Alin continues to volunteer with the RSPB in his pursuit of a career in conservation.
  • Duncan Butler assisted NBIS with their event and feedback evaluation of the Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow project. Duncan processed all of the data to produce a useful dataset. Duncan has used a reference from NBIS as part of his successful application for a Computational Biology degree.
  • Miles Jolly spent several months undertaking a biodiversity and behavioural monitoring project of species at Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve. He would report back to NBIS on a weekly basis with his findings and accompanying photographs which were inputted into the NBIS database.

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”.

 

 

Kerry undertook an intensive two week placement with Norfolk FWAG, helping to pull together countryside stewardship applications for landowners in the Brecks. Kerry returned to Hampshire to undertake her final year at Sparsholt College but has been told she is welcome back to work with Norfolk FWAG in the future.