My Work Experience Placement with NWT - part 5

Almost five months of my work placement have flown by and I could not be having a more enjoyable time. Spending Mondays with the Restoring Ratty team easily beats 9am lectures.
Wintery wildwood - Joel Ireland

Image by: Joel Ireland

At long last, after waiting for winter to properly hit in Northumberland, we finally have had some snow. Whilst the countryside looked rather picturesque, it did make the task of collecting pine cones for the Kielderhead Wildwood project fairly difficult. This was because each time a cone was plucked from a branch it was followed by a branch load of snow flying into your face.

Furthermore, the snow covered up gullies on the way up to where the pine trees are located. I learnt the hard way after slipping down a hole which reached my waist. The seeds from the 388 pine cones that we collected will be planted at the Wildwood site. I’m sure Steven, Wildwood Project Officer, was popular in his house after leaving the pine cones to dry out!

Another January task which I was lucky enough to assist with was the quarterly monitoring of red squirrels. This involves placing a camera trap and a specially designed squirrel feeder in an area with good habitat for red squirrels. We'll leave them both up for just over two weeks before collecting them in and analysing the results. Pine martens are now known to be in Kielder Forest so fingers crossed one pops up on the squirrel cameras again.

As with every month, there have been numerous tasks completed around the Bakethin Nature Reserve. One task that has been completed is the installation of rubbing plates around the dipping platform at the Bakethin pond. These plates consist of creatures that you would expect to find in the pond and they serve as a useful interpretation tool.

Kielder dipping platform - Joel Ireland

Image by: Joel Ireland