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Work Experience: Wytham Woods

By cohort 3 BGF-er, Trixie

I spent my work placement at the stunning Wytham Woods in Oxford, home to a vast range of plants and animals and an abundance of scientific research linked with Oxford University. I chose to do it here as I wanted to work outdoors to be connected with nature and to really get stuck in with the research. I also spent some time in the office as I had a week long project of designing a leaflet on tree planting.

My week was mainly spent outdoors and there were many activities to get involved with. On one day I spent the morning going around the woods on a quad bike looking for ash trees with ash dieback where I photographed the canopy cover with a fish eye lens for use in research.

On another day I was out all day looking for bats in the hundreds of bat/bird boxes dotted around the woods, we found a Brown long-eared bat and several Natterer's bats which we tagged, weighed and then gave them some food for their hard work! Although it was a long day, it was really rewarding to see the bats and it made me really appreciate the hard work that goes into monitoring species and the patience it must require. I also learnt a lot about bats!

Did you know that the distinctive smell of an old church is caused by bat poo?

My work experience confirmed for me that I definitely want a job which involves being outdoors so I can really appreciate nature and see the difference I am making. It was also inspiring to meet so many brilliant people who are enthusiastic about nature and our environment.


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