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The arm of a ferocious monster has appeared at the Avalon Marshes Centre. What is the story behind this fiendish apparition?
“At the end of May we were very sad to lose our two wonderful apprentices Adam Kasik and Seb Mepham. They have been an incredible asset to the team during their time with us, worked very hard on our reserves and most importantly shared our very special brand of Shapwick Heath NNR humour. We hope we taught them a thing or two along the way as well.
The good news is they have both walked into fantastic jobs, Adam as Brue Valley Reserves Assistant with the Somerset Wildlife Trust and Seb as Natural England’s Reserves Warden for Parsonage Down Farm in Wiltshire.
We saw them off in true Shapwick Heath style with a surprise hazard-tape opening of Adam’s Discovery trail viewing area (fondly known as the ‘sinking pit’) and the presentation of their very own commemorative giant pasties to savour and treasure.”
Adams’ final project was final completion of the extended Discovery Trail; the viewing area and associated pond-dipping platform. The trail provides an easy access route and educational resource at the Ashcott Corner end of Shapwick Heath NNR.
Seb’s final project was the important breeding bird survey of Shapwick Heath. The last survey was done way back in 2009. The completion of this new survey has given a much richer understanding of bird’s behaviour on the reserve and potential indicators of populations.
Seb’s apprenticeship was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnership Project. During his time as an apprentice he has worked with the RSPB and Somerset Wildlife Trust as well as Natural England. Adam’s post was funded by Natural England as part of their wider policy of providing training for the future.