Volunteering in the countryside: Sophie

Countryside Volunteer, South Devon

Sophie - Countryside Volunteer

I am currently a long term volunteer, with the South Devon team.

View across the Upper Plym Valley, Dartmoor National Park, Devon
I recently graduated from studying geography. I always knew I wanted to work outdoors, but didn’t have the practical experience or skills required to walk straight into a job. For me, volunteering is a great way to gain these skills, and to learn more about what is involved in countryside management.
I am really enjoying my time with the South Devon team. Everyday is different, and everyday I am learning new skills which will look great on my CV.
In a week, I spend two days in the office writing press release, downloadable walks, and helping with any other work that might come my way. For the rest of the week, I am generally out and about enjoying the countryside and learning the skills I need to hopefully work in conservation in the future.
One of the main parts of my role is working with local groups such as schools. When the sun shines the kids are really excited to be out of school and ready to get stuck in doing things like scrub clearance.
We do things like hunting for wildlife and bugs with them too - it is great to see the children getting excited about finding different beasties, and learning more about the wonderful area they live in. And passers-by are always happy to see the youngsters getting involved.