Hi there, we are the Connecting Communities, Environment and Engagement ranger trainees Ethan, Laura Jenkin and Chamonix Newsam. We are based across three lakes in the South West: Tamar Lakes, Wistlandpound and Stithians. This role commenced in January 2022. Within our short time here we have undergone various training opportunities, including forest school and outdoor leader training; which is beneficial for our role but also for our future prospects in this field. Working with the public and volunteers has been a highlight and it feels like we are engaging more the communities around us. Recently we also joined South West Water at the Devon County show, and it was great to meet people and chat about the work that we do around the lakes. Here's each of our highlights so far in the Connecting Communities project:

Ethan – ‘My favourite experience in this role so far has been engaging with the public at events like family activity days and, more specifically, the family drop in day at Tamar that we organised and ran as a team which gave me a massive sense of achievement when it ran smoothly and successfully.’

Laura - ‘It’s a wonderful feeling to come into your work place and feel like you’re doing something positive for the world, and to do a job where I am pursuing my personal interests and inspiring others to do the same. I love nature and I want for people to reconnect with it. Educating myself and others on topics such as foraging and minibeasts has definitely been a highlight. ’

Chamonix – ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed the scope of this project thus far, having the opportunity to work with different community partners, volunteers, schools, social prescribed individuals and likeminded people in general, which has been really enjoyable for me. But more so than this I am realising it’s an opportunity for personal growth, I am learning more about myself than in any other previous role and how to connect with people for nature’s benefit and our own benefit as social beings. I am also soon to be taking a course in willow weaving, which I am very excited about and have loved taking part in our forest school course so far, continuing to learn new skills.'

Thanks for reading, and do keep an eye on the 'Whats On' page for our next events!

The Connecting Communities project is funded by the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.