“Have a go, gain some skills and make new friends”

Sue Loughran was one of the volunteers who took part in the Snowdonia Society’s Practical Conservation Skills unit in spring 2019.  Here she talks more about her experience.

I was thrilled to be chosen to participate in the Practical Conservation Skills course this year. I want to keep my skills up to date, and thought that this would be a great way to ensure my ability to carry out conservation sessions safely and knowledgeably. I am fairly new in the conservation sector, and am always looking for ways to improve my CV. This, together with wanting to give something back to the Snowdonia National Park, was my motivation for wanting to spend four days on the course.

There was plenty of opportunity to choose from a wide range of practical skills (such as tree planting, woodland skills, rhododendron eradication, culvert clearance, tool maintenance, woodworking skills etc.) over a wide time frame, and range of days.

Each session was led by Owain or Dan, often in conjunction with people from other relevant partner organisation (e.g. the Woodland Trust). We had to choose a minimum of 4 sessions (the initial session being compulsory) and complete a weekly reflective log of what we had learnt.

I got such a lot out of each session; improved and updated practical skills, became better focused on writing risk assessments, organised and planned aspects of sessions (e.g. tool safety talks) and met some great new people, who were such fun to spend time with!

I feel that this course has certainly help build confidence in my own skills, and will help me to take more responsibility for organising conservation work parties in a variety of settings.

So Diolch yn fawr iawn to Owain, Dan, Mary-Kate and Cymdeithas Eryri for giving me this wonderful opportunity…And to anyone who is reading this; I would urge you to do the same. Have a go, gain some skills, make new friends and have some great days out in our wonderful National Park! It really makes you feel good!

If you would like to take part in future accredited training, sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date. We’ll have another intake of the practical conservation skills unit later this year and also offer accredited training in footpath maintenance.

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