In the past few weeks GFT have attended and delivered a number of varied training events.
It is fast approaching electrofishing season and GFT have delivered two Introduction to Electrofishing courses, one in Ireland and another this week at Barony College in Dumfries. These courses are crucial in ensuring a high standard of electrofishing continues across Scotland. Rowan McCleary is currently undergoing her SCQF Assessor Qualification which will allow her to deliver electrofishing training courses on behalf of GFT and hopes to be a fully qualified by July this year.
Rowan and Victoria are both currently in Inverary completing a habitat course to refresh and improve their knowledge on habitat surveying as it is vital that all staff at GFT keep up to date with new methods and techniques.
Last week Jamie Ribbens completed a week-long intensive chainsaw course and passed his assessment on Sunday, not the most relaxing weekend! The chainsaw qualification is important for habitat restoration opportunities and riverbank maintenance.
Jessica Rodger has also just completed a course in Birmingham titled "Developing a Catchment-wide River Restoration Plan", run by the River Restoration Centre. The course was about how to prioritise river reaches/ projects in a catchment for habitat restoration which will have the biggest benefit for the catchment. The course also went through the RRC's new catchment walkover survey which can be used to identify pressures and their impacts in a catchment. This course perfectly complements Jessica’s work within the trust and gave her further avenues to explore.
Finally, in July, Jamie, Jess and Victoria are booked in to complete their NATS Drone operator course which will allow GFT to survey from a new height! Drone surveys allow staff to explore areas which may not be accessible by foot and can speed up jobs which would otherwise take a long time.
At GFT we encourage staff to participate in regular training and Continued Professional Development (CPD) and this enables the trust to complete work to a recognised standard.
On Friday morning Jess, our Prioritised Salmon Habitat Restoration Officer, was joined along the banks of the River Dee by the enthusiastic pupils of Kells Primary School. This term the pupils of Kells Primary are learning all about Scottish nature.