Howdy folks! Chris here, but not the author of this blog. Instead I am turning over the reins to Abby. She is a Boston College student who has spent the week with us on work experience. Let's see what she has to say...
Hello, my name is Abby. I’m a Boston college student studying travel and tourism. I came to Frampton Marsh for a week of work experience. I have always been interested in wildlife and the natural world, as well as the way that charities such as the RSPB are run. This week was an existing insight into this for me.
My first day I arrived at the visitor centre. I hadn’t realised that it opened at half nine, so I was there half an hour early. As I waited for it to open I watched some of the birds. Out on the marsh there were thousands of golden plovers flying over the marsh next to the car park. I had seen starlings flying in groups, but it didn’t compare to the number of golden plovers I saw flying together. Later in the week, my mum shared the same excitement from seeing all the birds flying together that I did.
I was then taken to the RSPB office which, prior to this week, I didn’t know existed. I was introduced to everyone and given the run down on the health and safety precautions. In the morning I was set a research task. Finding the contact details of wildlife and birdwatching clubs in the area who might be interested in visiting the reserve. Then in the afternoon I took part in a quality assurance survey. These are done to ensure that everything at the reserve is being well maintained. Making sure that nothing needs replacing, fixing or cleaning. This is also done to ensure that the Frampton Marsh visitor centre can remain a Visit England certified visitor attraction.
The next day I worked on producing interpretation for visitor engagement. This included information about some of the birds and animals that could be seen on the reserve. To do this right I had to investigate the regulations the RSPB gives to ensure that everything was on brand. Certain fonts and colours are used, as well as details about how to talk to different kinds of visitors. In the afternoon I was assisting in the visitor centre. This meant that I was shown how to operate the till. I also had the chance to talk to real people, even though it was a quiet afternoon. The lack of visitors allowed for some free time for bird watching. I got to see multiple kinds of ducks in the reed bed and lots of different birds, including goldfinches and blue tits on the bird feeders.
My next day I was sorting visitor experience equipment. Equipment that was likely to not be used frequently was put away. Frequently used equipment was sorted into a more organised state. Some products were moved out of storage and into the visitor centre, others were moved into alternative storage. Things deemed unnecessary were disposed of. I enjoyed this, as it gave me a sense of satisfaction to see the equipment put back to its correct place and have everything organised.
On my second to last day I was tasked with going through videos. Most were filmed to promoting for the RSPB or to convince people to support it in other ways. This meant that the videos ranged from how to make a planter out of an old boot, to how you can help support endangered birds. Once chosen, these videos can be uploaded onto a USB stick and played in the visitor centre.
I am writing this on my last day here and I feel that I have learned a lot over my week. Today I’ve learned about how to change my writing to fit different people’s levels of education. Using short sentences and avoiding advanced language are some of the ways to do this. I want to thank everyone who I have worked with for being so welcoming and kind. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I have been given and will come back to visit the reserve again soon.
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