Article - The River Blog

Hello from Natasha Houghton – Year in Industry Student

Author: Jane Skilling
Categories: Uncategorised

Please join us in warmly welcoming Natasha to the RHC team…

“I am excited to be joining the River Holme Connections (RHC) charity as the new Year in Industry placement student and I can’t wait to work with such a dedicated group of people. Growing up in the Holme valley means I really value this little part of the country and am looking forward to improving the state of the rivers which will in turn increase local biodiversity. My hope is that more people will take an interest in the conservation of our beautiful countryside and join the fantastic volunteers that already do so much to help the RHC.

I have been studying Wildlife Conservation at Nottingham Trent University for the past two years and love the course content. A lot of the practical surveying and maintenance techniques I have learnt can be applied to RHC work including hedge laying, kick sampling and camera trapping to name a few. Last summer I also spent some time repairing and building dry stone walls in and around the Holme Valley area and really valued the opportunity to learn such an interesting trade. It will be great to gain some new skills whilst meeting likeminded individuals that care about the environment and River Holme.

So far with RHC, I have been tackling the invasive non-native species, Himalayan balsam, found in and along the riverbanks. This involves looking fashionable in waders whilst trying not to fall over and is very fun, satisfying work! Over the course of the year, I am hoping to be involved in the new Water vole project by monitoring their progress now they have been released into the valley. I would also like to encourage community engagement through projects involving trail cameras so that we can record where wildlife is likely to be found and how our work is making an impact on the surrounding land.

The Riverside Way project will also be a big part of my Year in Industry placement and I look forward to being a member of the team that will make such an impact on our river and benefit the community for years to come. Make sure to look out for more information about our exciting projects and join in if you can!”

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