(Above) Wildlife Champions award ceremony (L-R) DWT President, Tony Bates, Dianne Lawrence, Cathy Dyason, Sheila Dyason, Annette Middleton-Burke, Adam Sherring and DWT's Wildlife Champions Coordinator, Joy Wallis © DWT (below) Annette helping at a Water Life event © Victoria Vincent (below) Land management at Girdlers Coppice © DWT
Five people have been awarded with the Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) ‘Wildlife Champions’ AQA award, which has enabled three of them to enter higher level studies to get a step closer to their dream jobs in conservation.
Diane Lawrence, Cathy Dyason, Sheila Dyason, Annette Middleton-Burke and Adam Sherring all received their certificates and awards from Dorset Wildlife Trust’s President, Tony Bates. Cathy, Adam and Annette are all going into further study on the strength of being awarded this qualification.
"From the moment I was accepted onto the course, I haven't looked back"
Annette Middleton-Burke started the course in August 2013 after deciding to change her career. She said: “I have always been passionate about wildlife, but I quickly discovered that I would need relevant qualifications and experience, so the Wildlife Champions training scheme was perfect. At 53 years old, I didn’t think I’d be accepted but was delighted to find people from all walks of life are encouraged to attend. From that point I haven’t looked back. I have been offered a place at Sparsholt College in Hampshire to study for a degree in Ecology and Conservation Management. This would not have been made possible without the Wildlife Champions qualification, and I’m so grateful to Dorset Wildlife Trust for helping me start my journey.”
Students can act as wilidlife champions within their local communities
DWT Wildlife Champions Coordinator, Joy Wallis, said: “It’s a real pleasure watching our students learn, share their wildlife passions and even go on to achieve their dream jobs! The AQA units are a wonderful way to give accreditation to our volunteers as well, for all the wonderful work they do with us, and to help empower them to act as “Wildlife Champions” within their local communities.
We hope to have a team of people across Dorset who can lead and inspire others to enjoy and conserve the natural heritage around them, so there are benefits for both the individual and wildlife in Dorset. We are grateful to The Heritage Lottery for funding the establishment of this course.”
How to sign up...
To receive the Dorset Wildlife Trust certificate, students must complete four mandatory AQA units, and a selection of optional units, such as grassflower ID, butterfly ID, pond management and wildlife gardening. Click here for a full list of available units, and more information or contact Joy Wallis on 01305 264620, or email . To be eligible, students must be 16 or over and a permanent Dorset resident.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Follow us on Twitter @dorsetwildlife and facebook.com/dorsetwildlife
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 36,000 projects with £6bn across the UK. For more information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF press office, on tel: 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.