Hi, I’m Arwen and I am the new Year in Industry Placement student at River Holme Connections for 23/24. I am taking a year out from my Biology degree at the University of York to work here and I am looking forward to engaging with a wide range of people and doing practical conservation work in the beautiful Holme Valley countryside.
One of my biggest interests is plants and I have been the treasurer for the university gardening society where we have planted a variety of vegetables and flowers and created a wildlife pond. Volunteering at a local nature reserve has given me practical experience working with plants, as well as using different tools and managing different habitats. I hope to use my time here to further improve my botanical knowledge and possibly collect data on riverside plants and wildflowers that I will be able to use in my degree’s 3rd year project.
My favourite second year modules have been “Organisms in their Environment” and “Ecology of Animals, Plants and Microbes” because they covered how plants and animals interact with their environment in a very interconnected way. I have also learnt sampling and identification techniques for plants and freshwater organisms which I will be able to apply to my work at RHC.
On my second day, we visited a picturesque wildflower meadow to collect seeds. There was an amazing diversity of wildflowers which were supporting a host of butterfly, moth and bee species pollinating all the different flowers. Goldfinch flew over the meadow and into the wide hedgerows on the perimeter. The biodiversity of the site highlighted to me how even small areas of green space are really important for wildlife. I am very excited to be able to spend time in spaces like this with RHC and help to conserve and enhance green spaces in the Holme Valley.