Getting off to a great start

Alasdair Fagan – Conservation Graduate Trainee

I’m a recent MSc graduate from the University of Leeds and I began working for the North York Moors National Park Authority as a Conservation Graduate at the beginning of this month.

During my time at the Authority I will be assisting with a number of woodland projects involving Juniper (Juniperus communis), Veteran Trees and the restoration of PAWS (Plantation on Ancient Woodland Sites) i.e. replacement of conifers with native broadleaves through natural regeneration or planting. I will also be offering additional assistance with any work to do with the endangered White-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) because I’ve had previous experience of working with the species in the Yorkshire Dales.

During my first weeks I’ve been getting to grips with the different projects I will be assisting with and I’ve had the opportunity to go out into the Park with a number of other staff members. This included taking part in a volunteer task with the Forest Volunteers (and Kirsty) at Dalby Forest.

The task involved providing some much needed maintenance the Forest Garden (near to the Visitor Centre). The Garden was planted and designed last year by the same group of Volunteers.

The Forest Garden has clearly been a success, it was well established with many of the plants growing well, and there were pollinators everywhere.

I am delighted to have been offered the opportunity to work within such a diverse and beautiful National Park. I look forward to keeping you up to date with my progress, and progress on the projects I’ll be involved with.

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