January 7th was an important day for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. This was the day of our first Team Wilder event – a workshop day for our very first team members and champions. Team Wilder is the Trust’s new programme – a key part of the Wilder 2030 strategy and a way of bringing people together, supporting and encouraging everyone to take action everywhere – in their homes, gardens, schools, workplaces, and communities. The idea is that, together, we can all create the change that will be needed to tackle the devastating loss of wildlife and tip the balance in favour of nature’s recovery.
Over the coming months and years, the Trust hopes to build an interconnected network of motivated people from all across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, helping to restore and connect wild places to which wildlife can return to and thrive.
The workshop day invited people who were interested in, or had already started projects to wild their communities to come and learn new skills, connect and share ideas with other people, and be supported by Team Wilder to get their wild project ideas off the ground.
But January 7th was also important for another reason. January 7th was when the Wildlife Trust launched me into the wild – I mean, adult life – I mean, Team Wilder. As the first Campaigns and Events Officer on Team Wilder, and this being my first job since graduating university, I felt like a slow worm hatching , leaving the warm protection of the egg and slithering into the unknown. But slow worms hatch in autumn and this is winter. Nor am I anything like a slow worm, but at least I know that a slow worm is actually a lizard – so I think that means I am qualified to work for a wildlife trust?
I arrived at the workshop without knowing many people, and without any idea of what I was supposed to do. Would I be expected to lead an event? Surely not! Fortunately, the only thing I had to do that day was sign people in - which was easy - but still a slow worm could not do it! So, I got to spend the rest of the day attending the workshop events with the rest of our guests.