Yesterday I got some exciting post I'd been looking forward to for a few weeks. My Wildlife Watch Leader Pack arrived!
Wildlife Watch is the junior branch of the Wildlife Trusts. Children of any age can join but it's normally aimed at 8 years and above. When I was younger I was a member and really enjoyed learning about wildlife at the once a month meetings. Particular highlights were seeing slow worms, pond dipping and eating home made flapjacks made by our enthusiastic leader Rupert (who I'm pleased to see on the website is still running my old group). There are now also Greenwatch groups which are aimed at older members (12+) which allow young people to work on conservation projects and surveys to gain a deeper understanding of wildlife and nature.
My Mum is a Watch Leader and I've helped out at a few meetings in the past. It was partly this experience that made me sign up to become a leader when I moved to Preston, but also because I loved being a Young Leader at Scouts and other environmental education projects I've volunteered with.
It was very easy to become a leader. I went to a meeting to check I enjoyed helping, filled in a few forms and completed a CRB check (which came back in 24 hours, a personal record!). So now, about a month later, I am officially a Wildlife Watch Leader and will be helping to run the Preston Peregrines group for two hours once a month (although I'll be doing more than two hours work for it!).
My pack arrived with a CD of the essential guide to running a Watch group, a recent copy of the Watch magazine, and a copy of LINK the magazine for leaders filled with tips and ideas for running educational and fun meetings.
I'm really looking forward to starting as a leader and I hope I can make the meetings as fun and memorable as mine were. Teaching young people about nature and wildlife is essential if future generations are to protect and understand these valuable resources properly.