Invaluable Experience

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Sarah Taylor
Visitor Experience Internship
Longshaw, Peak District

My Internship with the National Trust in the Peak District has given me valuable experience in environmental education and events.

While working from the Moorland Discovery Centre at Longshaw I have had the opportunity to work with staff from the Peak District National Park as the building is owned in partnership between the two organisations. The Peak District National Park offered me an excellent opportunity to become a Registered Practitioner of the Institute of Outdoor Learning (RPIOL). They have supported me through the procedure of becoming RPIOL accredited, which is a process of developing myself as a leader while teaching outdoors. I have gone from helping with school visits and tagging along at the back to leading the whole day, which has given a lot more confidence and leader ship skills.

Another big part of my role was planning and assisting with events. I led the re-launch of the '50 Things to do before you’re 11 ¾' campaign by organising pond dipping, activities in the kitchen garden and setting up a geocache trail which was originally for the launch weekend, but has become a permanent fixture at Longshaw. At Easter I created, prepared and put out the Easter trail despite knee deep snow, which didn’t put off the visitors meaning a very successful Easter at Longshaw! Setting up an art interpretation project was a particular challenge I was given, to find an artist (Caroline Chouller-Tissier) and a school to work together to create some art work to be displayed in the grounds of the Moorland Discovery Centre. I have also been involved in other events such as Christmas crafts, been to shows including Edale Folk Festival and had the chance to help out with the rangers to see the work that goes into maintaining Longshaw. I have had a brilliant year doing my Internship and will be sad to leave. All of the staff and volunteers I have come across throughout my placement have supported and encouraged me in everything I have done.