Behind the scenes with an Earth Trust apprentice – part 3

By Beth Hall, Land Management Apprentice at Earth Trust

In September 2020 we were thrilled to welcome Beth Hall as an apprentice to the land management team. More than a year on, it was time for Beth to say goodbye and move on to her next adventure. Here she reflects on her time at Earth Trust and her hopes for the future.

Reflecting back and looking forward

Winter has left its signature. Frost blankets the landscape, a mist settles low over the meadows and the dawn light breaks through the thick clouds as I drive towards the Centre. This is just one of the things that I will miss: the quiet, beautiful mornings before the day has properly begun, when, unaware the world is waking up, birdsong emanates from the hedgerows and I startle deer from the verges as I prepare for the day ahead. Winter has come suddenly and quickly this January and its abrupt arrival makes me think about how fast time has flown by over the last year.

Already I am coming to the end of my apprenticeship – and what a time it has been. I have met wonderful people, learned a wealth of skills and had the privilege of working on some beautiful and special places. While I’m sad to be leaving Earth Trust, I am also excited for what’s to come. Thanks to the education, experience and confidence that Earth Trust has given me over the last 16 months, I have been able to secure a role as a Reserves Officer with Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust. There, I hope to continue my journey into the world of conservation and go on building on the knowledge and skills that I have gained during my time here.

Beth (sixth from the right) on her last day working with Thursday group volunteers.

 

Growing in confidence

The time I have spent at the Trust has been one of significant change and growth. When I first arrived here I had very little practical conservation experience and, other than a few years of young farmers and some background knowledge gained from my degree in wildlife media, I had no clue where to start when it came to being a ranger. I felt nervous that I might not do a good enough job, be strong enough or even enjoy the job, having not done anything like this before.

It turned out that I didn’t need to worry. The land management staff and the wonderful volunteers all welcomed me with open arms, and it wasn’t long before I felt part of the team. They patiently taught and nurtured skills in me while engaging in passionate conversations about wildlife and the countryside. They helped me when I felt unsure and laughed and joked with me when a dreary day or difficult task was at risk of bringing down the mood.

I want to thank everyone who helped me on my journey with Earth Trust and helped me make a place for myself in conservation. It’s due to them that I can now do the work I love and believe in. I can only hope that the people I work with in the future will be half as brilliant as those that I’ve had the pleasure of working with here.

A huge thank you to Beth for all of her hard work, from everyone at Earth Trust.

 

Read more from Beth’s earlier blogs:

Behind the scenes with an Earth Trust apprentice – part 1
Behind the scenes with an Earth Trust apprentice – part 2

 

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