Sunday, 1 February 2015

Down The Dene

Friday unfortunately, marked the end of my WildGrounds traineeship with Durham Wildlife Trust. What can I say, the past ten months have been such an amazing experience. I've attended specialist training days, acquired a host of new skills, been assessed and passed multiple qualifications and met many new people all from a wealth of different backgrounds. Its been a great step onto the conservation ladder for future employment. Here's hoping....

Durham Wildlife Trust are currently recruiting for this years 10 month traineeship, I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in starting out in conservation and grounds maintenance work. 

Check out the link below for the job description, good luck;

On our final day myself and team spent the morning on the Durham Coast, beginning at Nose's Point car park. To the rear of the car park were a flock of passerines feeding on seed that had been put out on the top of a boulder. These were Linnets, my first for a while and quite unexpected. I love the fact that someone decided to put seed out, its amazing how much this can help our seed feeding birds. Especially through the winter months and even more so now with the recent snowfall. Its small gestures like this that restore my faith in humanity. 
Well done you anonymous wildlife hero you! 

We walked along the Durham Heritage Coast, along the clifftops on what was a bright but bitterly cold day. We followed the path along to the wild flower meadow and crossed over the railway line and proceeded to climb down a bankside and underneath the arches of a huge railway viaduct, a pretty spectacular piece of industrial architecture and a grade II listed building.
We walked along the bottom of Hawthorn Dene to where it met the North Sea, a couple of Red Throated Divers were noticeable through binoculars out on the rough water.

We headed back North along the beach, passing an old kiln and pill box in the process. Nothing of interest showed on route back to Nose's Point and once back to the car park it was into Seaham for fish & chips. Well earned!

Following our fish & chips we all got back in our cars and drove to the entrance of Hawthorn Dene, during my training I spent a good amount time in the woodland here over the summer; removing Himalayan balsam and marking out Herb Paris for survey work being just two examples.
We witnessed the usual woodland delights; Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blue Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and the highlight of a few Marsh Tit. There was also a couple of old Owl roosts which instantly grabbed my attention and had me leaving the woodland with a couple of pellets for examining. 
All in all this was a great way to spend the day and a nice bookend to complete my traineeship, it's been a great journey and hopefully this isn't the end but merely the first chapter of a future career in conservation.

Nature North East/ The Northern Owl Project