Being a work industry placement student with Wessex Rivers Trust

Joshua David

I first contacted Wessex RT to fulfil the criteria of my college course, which required me to undertake a two day per week industry placement. I knew I wanted to be involved in freshwater ecology after university, and that a regular opportunity for fieldwork and related experiences would be highly beneficial when applying for future jobs in the field. After a short email exchange and an interview, I had been accepted as a long-term volunteer at the trust and my placement began almost immediately. Within my first eight weeks at the trust, I have participated in walkover surveys from Southampton to Warminster, conducted fish passage and sediment pathway surveys, been involved in the planning of educational events and analysed and represented data with mapping software. I have been out in the field almost every day and gained a huge amount of knowledge from the incredibly helpful team members here at Wessex RT who have made me feel so welcome. In the coming months, I am looking forward to seeing some of the projects I have been involved with come to fruition, including several small-scale river restorations, educational opportunities for children and sediment pathway alterations. My experience so far at the Wessex Rivers Trust has been overwhelmingly positive, and my interest in freshwater ecology and conservation as a career pathway is continually growing and being reinforced by my time spent here. My placement has not only increased my employability post-graduation, it has allowed me to learn from a team of experts who share the same passions as I do in a friendly and professional environment.