For the past 5 days I have been digging big holes, recording the vegetation and collecting soil and I can’t believe I am already half way through my placement! The broad aim for this placement is to carry out vegetation surveys and collect soil samples which I can then analyse back in the labs to look at chemical levels and compaction. To collect the soil samples I am digging 0.8m deep soil pits. This has turned out to be slightly more difficult than I had anticipated but, having dug four out of the eight pits, I am getting the hang of it.
As well as doing my research, I have also taken the opportunity to meet a few of the animals at the Wildwood Trust. Whilst working today I had the company of the Konik horses in the enclosure opposite and, of course, a wild boar in the enclosure next to me. Yesterday I was working just the other side of the fence to the red deer who were very curious as to what I was doing and kept coming over to check on me. I have also got to know the smaller animals, working opposite the bees in the first couple of days. But for me, the most important creatures in this park are Prue and Sid, the pair of wild boar. For the next two days I will be sharing their enclosures, gathering samples and, hopefully, not getting too covered in mud and other lovely things.
Time is flying and I’m already half way through. So far I have made two vital discoveries:
- My calculator hates me. The location for my vegetation surveys are being selected by using a calculator to randomly generate two number which become the coordinates for these sites. My calculator, however, decided that I would really like to carry out these surveys, not in the nice clear areas, but in the bramble bushes and head height nettles.
- My calculator may hate me but the mosquitoes love me! I have, however, found the miracle cure to this; Maximum strength Jungle Formula. Armed with this, nothing will stop this determined geographer!