Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been joined by three work experience students from a local school. They joined the Tintagel – Holywell ranger team for a week or two, helping and finding out exactly what a National Trust ranger does and trying out a nine to five job. Well, 8:15 – 4:30pm!
We try and plan our work experience opportunities to get a good flavour of the different tasks we might do in the ranger team. Highlighting a few tasks, this might be anything from improving footpath access, installing gates, cutting back vegetation or working with schools.
But as well as booking in different tasks, we also like the week to be really representative of a normal working week. A lot of our work is very seasonal, for example over winter we spend a lot of time carrying out habitat management on our coastal grassland which ultimately means scrub clearance. Come summer, we’re spending a lot of time cutting back vegetation along paths or tackling invasive species like ragwort. This can mean that we can sometimes end up doing similar tasks from week to week in a season.
Here’s a few words from two of the students describing what they got up to and what they thought of their time with us.
Installing new field gates on a work experience week. James on the far right.
James, Year 10
I had a two week placement with the National Trust and the two weeks can be described as very enjoyable. I went to many different places, some of which I had never been to and completed a wide range of jobs from cutting back the overgrown coast paths to repairing fences. Also I got to work with a great team of people who do this job day in day out with the ultimate goal of helping out their local community. Overall I think it was a great experience and would recommend it to people who love the countryside and helping the community.
Lianne helping us cut back overgrown footpaths near Epphaven.
Lianne, Year 12
My name is Lianne and I came to the National Trust for a week’s work experience. I decided to choose the National Trust as I enjoy being outside and wasn’t sure of all the things they did, so wanted to find out. On Monday I started off doing some raking of grass cuttings behind an overgrown house at Port Gaverne. I then did a litter pick on the National Trust owned beach there. In the afternoon we went to Pentire Head and pulled up common ragwort, a plant that can poison cows and other livestock.
The rest of the week was mostly similar but in different locations such as Epphaven and Newquay. However in Epphaven we also did some coast path maintenance by inserting some slate into the path to make some steps to make it easier for public access. Over the week I have learnt how to use a range of tools and equipment.
The part of the week that I enjoyed the most was the maintenance work in Epphaven as it was something different and interesting rather than just clearing the path. I also learnt a lot about using tools like the pinch bar and a mattock. I also just enjoyed being out and about in the sun in different locations around North Cornwall.
When I first came to the National Trust I wasn’t sure what their jobs consisted off, but now I realise how much they do to maintain the coast paths and how busy they are all the time. I think that the National Trust is a very good charity organisation and I have really enjoyed my week here.
Thanks for your help guys! Being a charity we appreciate help from volunteers and work experience students. If you would like to find out more about what we do through volunteering or a work experience placement please email email@example.com.