Over the traineeship there have been many courses which I have attended and last weekend Tom and I took part in a mammal identification weekend run by the Mammal Society. It was a very full schedule over 2 ½ days with a great amount of information to take in. Over the weekend we got the chance to set some small mammal traps (Longworth traps) and I was lucky enough to catch a common shrew in one of my 6 traps over the weekend which turned out only to weigh 7g!
Field voles and Bank voles were also caught and it was great to be able to see the voles close up therefore allowing all the course attendees to see the key features of the different species caught.
We were shown how to recognise tracks and trails of the mammals in the UK along with how to recognise the differences between calls. As well as being able to recognise live mammals we were also shown how to identify mice, voles and shrews from their skeletons and teeth which all differ slightly and there are distinguishing features in the skeleton which allow us to identify species within the family groups. At the end of the weekend there was a test to ensure we all understood what we had learnt and that we understood how to fill in official recording sheets correctly. Now Tom and I understand how to set traps for small mammals (and how to identify them correctly) we may be able to set up a small survey to see what small mammals are living around the farm and in Centenary Wood.
During the Bank Holiday weekend Dani and I joined in the re-enactment and became land girls working on the farm. Using our lovely Suffolk Punches we moved muck and lifted a few potatoes which the public were able to come and pick and take home.
Getting ready for the Heavy Horse Weekend on the 29th September, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service – Urban Search And Rescue (USAR) have been practicing their skills on how they might rescue an injured horse for their demonstrations taking place during that weekend.
On Friday 30th August our first of four calves was born and he is doing very well. Mum is being very protective but has allowed us a few photos!
Hannah – Heritage Landscape Management Trainee