Overview

Given the pandemic travel restrictions that have restricted international travel for the last 2 years, Opwall have introduced a series of UK based training courses.

This project is based at the Knepp Estate in the Low Weald of Sussex, which is Britain’s premier and most famous rewilding site.  The 3500 acre estate is being returned to a pre-human habitat by almost abandoning human intervention in the management of the landscape and allowing fields to revert to natural vegetation. Fallow and red deer, wild horses, long-horn cattle to mimic the effects of the extinct auroch and pig to mimic wild boar control the vegetation on this unique estate to produce a patchwork of different habitats.  Beavers are being introduced to help restore the wet grassland and wetland habitats.

These courses aim to help volunteers position themselves to benefit from the anticipated explosive growth in career opportunities in wildlife management and climate change careers in the UK.

The field courses are aimed at developing relevant skills for wildlife careers. These include pollination surveys and how to quantify bird and mammal population that can be used in land management careers. Others such as UK Hab mapping and calculation of the biodiversity value of a site using the DEFRA biodiversity metric will open up opportunities for planning authorities and developers. The carbon practicals will look at how to quantify carbon in fields, hedgerows, and trees and how the voluntary carbon market works. In the evenings there will be presentations from professional ecologists or climate change specialists in how they developed their careers.

If you want to hear more about our expeditions as well as the other opportunities we offer you can join a free webinar at https://www.opwall.com/free-webinar/ or send us an email at universities@opwall.ac.uk

About Operation Wallacea

Operation Wallacea has run biodiversity research expeditions for the last 25 years to a series of sites (mainly biodiversity hotspots) worldwide (www.opwall.com), helping university students from around the world gain valuable experience and get their hands dirty with real biodiversity research.

Our network of academics and researchers separate Opwall from other volunteer organisations, allowing a truly research orientated project, and our volunteer funded model allows the volunteers who join us to take part in long-term projects covering large bio-geographical scales that can incorporate more than one ecosystem. You can find out more about peoples experiences and our projects at the Opwall Blog.

In the last two years we have also worked extremely hard to develop and offer as many opportunities as we can to help volunteers get involved in conservation. We have introduced a number of European sites including two projects in the UK which focus on rewilding and developing skills for a career in UK conservation, and for those students looking to develop their skills at home we now offer virtual internships in skills such as introductions to R coding, wildlife photography, science and geography and project management.

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