Level 3 Countryside Management students have recently worked alongside Wildfowl and Wetlands staff and volunteers as part of ongoing collaborative training and skill sharing on Steart Marshes Wetlands reserve. An enthusiastic group completed the first day of hedge laying training under the instruction of Alan and Nigel, with the added bonus of a dry and clear day!
As one of the UK’s largest new wetland reserves, Steart Marshes is an exciting large scale saltmarsh and freshwater habitat creation project with ample opportunity for learning new skills and completing bespoke training such as water vole surveying, salt marsh surveys, bird surveys and practical work including hedge laying and planting.
In addition a number of students from the Land and Wildlife courses at Cannington campus are completing work placements this year at Steart.
Alan Sinclair, Course Leader said,
“For both the College and the WWT Steart team it’s a win win situation – a range of excellent habitats to manage and explore, new skills to share and learn, wiling students, staff and volunteers, a dynamic new wetland, committed staff and all on our door step! Student work placements have worked extremely well; building experience and networking for the students is an essential employment skill within conservation, and our thanks are extended to WWT for their hospitality and ongoing support.”
For more information about land-based courses at Bridgwater & Taunton College call 01278 441234 or visit the course pages on this website.
Steart Marshes is the first of WWT’s Working Wetlands – places that demonstrate how wetlands are productive and useful. As well as being a natural buffer, providing protection to the newly created flood banks, the saltmarsh is farmed for specialist saltmarsh lamb and beef, its creeks are a nursery for the fry of important fish stocks, and it is absorbing tonnes of climate-polluting carbon as it matures.
Find out more about Steart Marshes by visiting the WWT website here https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/steart-marshes/