Phoebe’s work experience blog

Week 1

When I arrived, I was met by Helen who showed me around the office, introduced me to the other members of staff and went through my induction. We then visited Balderstones primary school to check on the tank, which is part of Trout in the Classroom. We then had a site visit to two recently completed fish passes: Dunkenhalgh and Oakenshaw. Towards the end of the day, I researched the Trust and found out more about what they do.

On Tuesday I tested a walk route at Park Brook with Amelia to see if the directions made sense, this was a lot of fun. I then visited Stonyhurst to check their tanks and monitor the progress of their alevins.

On my third day at the Trust, I went with Jonny and Ryan to plant hedges and trees with volunteers at Cuthbert Hill in Chipping. The other volunteers were really friendly, and we managed to plant all the hedges and trees we needed to.

Phoebe attending a careers fair at Myerscough College whilst on a work experience placement with Ribble Rivers Trust.
Phoebe and Helen attending the Myerscough College careers fair.

Kathryn, Helen and I went to Myerscough College for the careers fair, which gave me a chance to have a look at Myerscough. We had a lot of students come and visit us and ask lots of question to find out more about what the Trust does.

Jonny, Amelia Ryan, Helen, Marco and I went to Lower Darwen to install an interpretation panel near the fish pass. We also laid some flags leading up to the board, to make it easier for people to access, which I think is a great idea.

Week 2

At the start of my second week, I went to Whalley to help people who were flooded by the storm with Jonny, Rob, Amelia, Ellie and Kathryn. Thankfully there wasn’t much water left from the flood and residents just needed help cleaning up.

On Tuesday, I went with Jonny, Amelia, Ryan and Helen to put an interpretation board at Whalley Arches. The board informs people using the footpath about the trees planted last year. I then went back to Lower Darwen to check on the board and flags after the weekend’s stormy weather.

On Wednesday I did a site visit with Helen and Ellie for tree planting with a primary school and did a risk assessment. Then Helen and I went to Lytham to decide on a location for an art installation.

I accompanied Neil and Helen to the eight different primary schools taking part in Trout in the Classroom to check on their fish and install automatic feeders. With half term approaching, the feeders will allow the schools to feed the fish twice a day without anyone having to be in school. The difference in the development of the fish was interesting, two of the school’s fish were at the top, swimming, and had lost their yolk sacks. Other schools’ fish were still (just!) in the alevin stage.

This was my last day at the Trust, and Helen and I tested a walk route in Ribchester for an upcoming leaflet which is due to be published later this year. We were testing the route to write the directions and check whether there were any problems along the route such as broken stiles which might need replacing.

I had a very enjoyable time at Ribble Rivers Trust. I had a varied two weeks and saw lots of different aspects of the work the Trust does. Thank you to all the very welcoming staff, I’m glad I chose to do my work experience here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance- please read

Please note that, following Government guidelines and the fact UK Chief Medical Officers have now raised the Coronavirus (COVID-19) risk to the UK from moderate to high, Ribble Rivers Trust are taking precautions, and making changes to our day to day operations.

Some Ribble Rivers Trust staff are now working from home. If you wish to speak to a specific member of staff and you know their mobile phone number or email address please contact them in this way. Otherwise please contact us in the usual way.

Volunteer event cancellations

Dear volunteers,

It is with regret that we announce that we are postponing all volunteer activity with Ribble Rivers Trust. We know there are many benefits to volunteering, including the positive boost to mental and physical health, the chance to meet others and contribute positively to your local area. However, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the most recent Government advice – asking everybody in the UK to stay at home and only go out for essentials such as food and medicine – we feel that continuing to include volunteers in the limited work we are able to do now would put people at unnecessary risk and be irresponsible. We all want to improve and protect our environment and rivers, but to do that we need to stay healthy and this must be our priority for the time being. We will continue to keep you up to date with the work we are able to do and will organise new volunteer days as soon as we possibly can. Please stay connected with us over the coming weeks and keep yourselves safe and well.

Refer to gov.uk/coronavirus for up to date information and guidance.

We will come through this and our environment and rivers will still need you, let’s make sure we’re all ready for it when the time comes.

Yours faithfully,

Jack Spees.