I'm really happy to be doing this placement. On Mondays, we do conservation work on a nature site called "Boarshaw Clough". This Monday we were hacking back brambles, honeysuckle, wild rose and the occasional tree branch that had eaten up one of the footpaths. It's pretty fun when you get into the swing of things. After all this windy weather, and witnessing a tree branch snap off, we were a bit worried about working in the woods... But all was ok in the end! One thing, large sections of the site are SWAMPED in Himalayan Balsam. Does anyone know any novel ways of getting rid of it, or even better using it?

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I work on my project. I've been super lucky to land myself a community garden and allotment project, something that I'm really interested in! I'm gaining loads of really useful experience from it. Last week I was drawing up a cost sheet for the project, which involved working out quantities of materials required, then calling up various suppliers to get quotes, before collating all of this information into a client friendly document. All in all - a highly beneficial learning activity for a budding Permaculture Designer!

My stated objective for the internship is to secure grant funding to develop the project and I am pushing hard to get as much experience out of this as possible! I am going to be spending some time with the Landscape Architects who are designing the site to get an insight into their professional design methods. I will gain experience in developing a social media campaign, as I have applied the project to the NatWest CommunityForce Competition, which will require me to generate publicity and inspire people to vote for the project to win £6000. (Details of how to get involved in a later post) I will also conduct a community wide consultation, treating everyone as a unique stakeholder and client, to try and maximise the range of needs that the project will meet. The bid-writing process itself will be a very useful process to master, and may later fund projects of my own. 

There is an emerging opportunity to begin a social enterprise to ensure that this project can maximise its beneficial impact on the community. The site, with mixed woodland and grassland, is located within a deprived estate. Empowering residents with a supportive space to grow fruit and veg, whilst growing their skills and community is something I am really passionate about. An even bigger challenge is to engage the youngsters of the estate with outdoor activities such as bushcraft and horticulture, to help realise their innate potential and create opportunity in their life. This is all just the seed of an idea at the moment, but who knows, I might end up building myself a job!
7/25/2012 06:52:12 pm

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