The Monthly Rachael- Blog 3

Hi again,

I am now over three months into the role!

Since my last blog, I have been busy, like everyone else in the Trust, and attended the Barrow Community Rivers Day, hosted by SCRT, Barrow Community Kitchen and Tesco Metro. We carried out a litter pick in the morning, with local people and businesses coming to support the day and tidy up next to the river. Even the local paper came to support the clean, which was great publicity for the community and event organisers. Then after a buffet, kindly provided by the community kitchen, we got down to doing some river-based activities the afternoon. Myself and Jayne, went back to the river and managed, after nearly an hour, to find some mini-creatures to take back to the community kitchen and take a look with the group. After this we started a collage made from ‘clean’ rubbish and left it with the people to add to. I hope to receive a picture soon with the collage full of mysterious creatures and share it with you on the website. Many thanks to all who were either involved in the day and helped organise the day. We are hoping to do something similar again in the future and get the local children involved in the river activities. Watch this space…

In September, I attended a social media and volunteers course. The course explained how to attract volunteers as well as keeping existing volunteers happy with their work and involving everyone in new projects. The course was specifically for charities and not for profit organisations, with many new and exciting ideas being shared with individual groups then discussed in the larger circle in order to expand our ideas and therefore our social media output.

Last week, I went on a eDNA sampling day with Matt Carroll, SCRTs newest project officer. Environmental DNA is given off by all living things as they move through water, including; cells, eggs, scales etc. Once a water sample has been collected and passed through a filter, the collected DNA is amplified in a laboratory using DNA primers associated with the species being analysed. This technique is used to assess the diversity of a species within a given water body. We tested several samples from approx. 15 different areas around the South Lakes. It allowed me great insight into the more technical aspects of the role, as well as giving me an opportunity to get to know Matt better. If you want to see how he has been getting on, please follow the link to his blog.

We hope to get the lab results back soon.

A key part of my role is also the administration of SCRT. As such I met with a lady that is advising us on improvements to our Health and Safety practices. I have been working hard updating the documents we have and looking into ways to make them value added for the team without adding further constraints onto their roles. The team are also expecting to be involved in a store clean in the next couple of weeks, to ensure it is kept clean and tidy and equipment is stored properly, including maintained regularly and to safe standards.

INFO– I have had a few queries about mink recently. SCRT do not control them. Information can be found on the Environment Agency website about them; HERE

Well, until next time.. Bye for now.