At Hellesdon High School, we need to do a work placement in Year 11, so I have been completing work experience in the NWS consultancy office on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th July 2014. I learned about what the consultancy does to preserve protected species and how developers have to take precautions if they want to develop areas which have been found to contain any protected species in them ( such as bats or great crested newts ).
I also helped during my placement on evening surveys with my dad, which was probably a bit more interesting to get out and about.
The first survey was a night time newt survey at three different ponds with torches and bottle traps. My dad and I enjoyed this so much we went back there in the morning to come and see the results of the bottle trapping. We had caught a great-crested newt and I got to handle it [supervised !] before it was released, which I had never done before and found very exciting. The most enjoyable thing was finding out about how to prove the existence of great-crested newts – they are not very easy to find except by night.
The second survey for the placement was a bat survey on a thatched house at Hickling. In this we counted the numbers of bats coming out of a gap in the thatch. We counted 98 bats from the same place, which means a big roost inside the roof somewhere. This was fantastic to see – so many bats in one night – the person on the other side didn’t see any all night so I was lucky ! I enjoyed learning about bat species – I hadn’t realised before that there were many different species of bat and not just one.
Finally we found a kitten on the riverside on our lunch break, so I also got to look after the rescue kitten for a bit, although I am not sure he was that happy about it. All in a day’s work at NWS !