My time as part of the Exmoor mires partnership has come to an end and I have had a fab time. Even though it was challenging at times and apparently character building, I loved it. I have learnt so much during my time in Exmoor because when I first went I had no knowledge about different species of grass and herbs but by the end of my time I was identifying many different species without any guides. I wish I had stayed longer as I enjoyed it so much, I loved being outside every day (even in the rain) and the people I was staying with and everyone in the Exmoor Mires office was extremely helpful and friendly. It would have been nice to experience more of what they do and more aspects of the project.
I do not miss the Exmoor cows, which on two occasions made my fieldwork harder. On the first occasion a herd of cows were interested in what I was doing in their field so came over to investigate, they licked my tap measure and moved it, as well as moving other pieces of equipment. They did however keep me company all day. The second encounter was not quite so nice; they chased me out of their field so I had to jump over the gate rather than opening it (as you can tell I am not a country girl or used to being so close to a herd of 35 cows). They then proceeded to stand in the way of the gate for an hour before moving to let me get on with my work.
The fieldwork was extremely intense, 84 peat depth measurements were taken, vegetation within 84 quadrats analysed, 15 peat cores taken and 8 of these will be analysed further in the lab and also 88 water samples taken and the pH, dissolved oxygen and conductivity were measured. So now it is time to start the analysis of the data and the write up.
Hopefully within the next few years I will be able to go back and spend another few weeks with the project to see what changes there have been.