Time Flies When You’re Having Fun: Two months as a Student Naturalist

Can you believe it? It’s been two months since Alex joined NHSN, getting involved with all things North East nature. Alex shares what he’s been up to in the blog below.

After joining NHSN in September, time has sped by. It’s been a friendly and welcoming environment and fitting in has been easy. I set out to gain as many varied experiences as I could from the get-go, ensuring to make the most of my placement opportunity. At NHSN you can find yourself working on all sorts of weird and wonderful tasks on any given day, making it truly ideal to grow into working life.

Working at Events

A large part of my work here at the NHSN has involved talking with people at gatherings and events. This can be daunting at times, but exciting, nonetheless. Whether it’s hosting away days for organisations such as Natural England or The Environment Agency at Gosforth Nature Reserve, helping at our Monday night NHSN Talks, or attending conferences such as the Rooted in Nature event in Middlesbrough. Not only have these experiences brought me out of my shell and improved my social skills, they have also widened my knowledge on the spectrum of charities doing great work in the North East.

Practical Conservation Work

Another part of my placement that I enjoy is getting involved with the Wednesday morning work parties at Gosforth Nature Reserve. These usually consist of conservation tasks to maintain the reserve. The community of volunteer rangers is friendly and inclusive. It’s also nice to have the opportunity work outside, making it a highlight of the week. Even when the tasks are very physically tough, you still always get that sense of achievement at the end of it.

What’s Next?

While I have got up to lots in my two months at NHSN, there is still lots more up ahead that I’m looking forward to. I will be given the opportunity to write an article for the spring edition of North East Nature, which will push me to improve my writing skills and could be so personally rewarding. I’m also looking forward to helping Julie with Plan A workshops. These are run to encourage kids in the North East to be inspired by natural world. It’s another experience that veers outside my comfort zone but is beneficial to local communities and young people. Finally, I will be given the opportunity to conduct my own scientific study within Gosforth Nature Reserve. This is part of my placement and will eventually be a project report which relates to my studies in zoology.

Are you a student and want to get involved? Take a look at our Student Award Scheme.

Alex Moore
Student Naturalist

Alex is a Zoology Student at Newcastle University who is joining NHSN for nine months. He is aiming to gain a practical understanding of what it means to work in the field of conservation and for a charity.