Throughout this year I have been able to take part in surveys for species that were completely new to me, and to also develop my knowledge and experience in surveying for species that I have worked with before. In all cases, working with the ecology team has allowed me to gain a better understanding on how the information gathered during surveys can be used to inform site management and further work.
Here are some of the highlights of my time here:
Freshwater invertebrate surveys
These are a crucial part of determining the health of rivers and still water bodies and something I did not have much prior experience of. It has been fascinating to learn about how surveys are carried out and more about the creatures that live in freshwater. My highlight was catching an eel during a Riverfly survey at our Winnall Moors reserve. These distinctive fish are listed as Critically Endangered on the ICUN Red List and have suffered large declines, particularly attributed to the increase in weirs and dams in waterways restricting their movement to the sea to breed.