Michael Johnson – Conservation Graduate Trainee
I have recently moved down to this area from rural Northumberland where I lived in a small village and worked part time on a local upland sheep farm. This farm work was interspersed with my university studies down in Falmouth, Cornwall.
Having recently completed a degree in Marine and Natural History Photography where great emphasis was placed upon conservation techniques and practices I felt that the position of Conservation Graduate Trainee with the North York Moors National Park Authority would be ideal – especially mixed in with my practical experience of farming, livestock management and deer management – all useful knowledge in this area.
After a whistle stop tour of the North York Moors with my new
colleagues and more introductions and handshakes than you can shake a stick at, I feel completely ready and eager to begin my work in earnest.
One of my first projects is the annual surveying of the wild daffodil population in Rosedale. This involves recruiting volunteers to work alongside me to take fixed point photographs and comparing these photographs to previous years (this is the third year of the project) so as to try and assess the overall health and coverage of these beautiful native plants. As one can probably guess, having conducted a photography degree, this project should be right up my street!
I will also be looking further into what is effecting the growth and coverage of these daffodils – grazing? shading? competition? pollution? etc. The ultimate aim of this is to try to manage these dangers and risks to the daffodils and hopefully put measures in place to conserve and protect them.
I am also responsible for the monitoring and implementation of the National Park’s Wildlife Conservation Scheme agreements – which are set up to manage local sites to increase biodiversity and maintain the important and unique ecology of the North York Moors; working alongside local landowners and farmers to reap benefits for all.