It may be a cliché but time has definitely flown by this year! It seems like only a few months ago that the Marine centre’s doors opened for spring and my placement with them began. Yet here we are, mid-November, the season is over, loose ends tied up and it’s time for me to move on.
I have had an amazing 9 months working with Cat and Coral through the LEMURplus programme. For those unfarmilliar, LEMUR is a training placement funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and run by Ambios Ltd, which gives participants the skills they need to work in the conservation sector. There were 20 of us all together (some 9 month and some 4 month placements) based across Devon, Hereford and between, each placement offering slightly different learning opportunities.
My placement at Wembury has not only been amazingly fun but I also feel I have learned a lot. We worked with over 2500 school children this year and 1600 members of the public! My confidence has definitely grown and the idea of speaking in front of 90 children no longer scares me in the slightest!
I’ve also had the opportunity to develop my own events (some more successful than others…) and work on other projects at the centre such as the monitoring of Sargassum – a non-native seaweed. I’ve been to lots of internal meetings and events over the season too which has given me an insight into the inner workings of Devon Wildlife Trust and seen first hand just how much work goes into everything that they do. Hats off to everyone here, they work incredibly hard!
Working at Wembury has also meant being in such a beautiful location for the last 9 months. The rocky shore at Wembury is one of the best places I’ve ever rockpooled and has such an amazing array of species. Even towards the end of my placement I was still seeing things I’d never seen before. Highlights were definitely the St Piran’s hermit crabs, sea spiders and the lobster which has decided to make a burrow in one of our favourite rockpools!
So all that remains now is to say thankyou! Thankyou to all the school children for all their contagious enthusiasm. Thankyou to all the members of the public who joined us for rockpool safari’s, stream dipping, marine mini beasts, super seaweed, seashore crafts, strandline walks and more. Thankyou to all the brilliant volunteers, you have all been amazing and the time you give to the marine centre is much appreciated. And finally, thankyou to Cat and Coral, firstly for picking me for the placement and secondly for all you have taught me and all the support you have given me this year.