Tuesday, 22 August 2017

A week of coastal experiences at NWT Cley Marshes

Amanda Schrem recently completed a week's work experience at NWT Cley Marshes and discovered what a lot goes on  at this busy visitor centre and reserve.

Amanda on the beach at West Runton
On my first day, we started off with the mandatory staff health and safety procedures and paperwork. Once that was done, we went to Sheringham for the Coastal Creations event, which involves collecting various interesting objects from the strandline and using them to make art. It was great fun and I learned a lot about all the objects found on the strandline, for example that mermaid's purses are actually egg cases, that cat sharks exist in Norfolk and something that looks like dried seaweed but is actually a type of animal called hornwrack, smells like lemon when first washed up.

In the afternoon we went up to Cley beach to collect some plankton samples, as preparation for an upcoming sea dipping event- this was something I had never done before.

A bit of 'Marine Mayhem'
On the second day, I went on "A Walk with the Warden" event, which included birdwatching. I learnt a huge amount about the history of Cley and, as a complete birdwatching novice, the difference between an avocet and a black-tailed godwit.  In the afternoon I worked on reception. This was completely new to me and a bit daunting at first but I ended up really enjoying it. On day three I had the morning off! In the afternoon I invented some arts and crafts that children could make during the "Marine Mayhem" event on Saturday. I made a fish out of a recycled bottle and tissue paper, and an 'egg-box rock pool'. I also did some odd jobs in the office, like laminating. In the evening, I got involved with the "Coastal Stroll and Supper".

Rockpooling at West Runton
In the morning of the fourth day, we ran the Rockpooling event at West Runton. There were a lot of people and it was great fun, I hadn't been rockpooling for years. Someone caught a scorpion fish, which was fascinating to see! It was great learning about other life in the rock pools as well,  a highlight was seeing a velvet swimming crab. In the afternoon I helped set up the room and organise tea and coffee for the afternoon talk on "Life between the Tides".

Day five was the day of the "Marine Mayhem" event with crafts and activities for families. I was helping out with that, doing things like using the badge machine and helping with the recycled bottle craft.

Puppets from the Norfolk Girl puppet show
On my last day of work experience, we set up the "Norfolk Girl" event, an interactive puppet show based on a chapter from the book "Mystery of the Mystery Mist".  In the afternoon I organised some event promotion and designed some news posters for upcoming events.

Overall, I had a very interesting week that gave me a great insight into work on and around a nature reserve. I would like to thank all the staff at NWT Cley Marshes, in particular Rachael Wright, Cley Community Education Officer for organising my fantastic week!

For more information about events and activities at NWT Cley Marshes visit https://www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on

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