A WILDLIFE charity has been passing on skills to the next generation of wildlife conservationists.

The Green Team programme, run by the Dorset Wildlife Trust and now in its fourth year, aims to give youngsters the opportunity to work in the conservation sector.

They get to try out skills such as learning about wildlife and ecosystems, conservation management practices, practical tool use, teamwork, and the importance of talking to the public.

DWT Conservation Officer Sally Wright said: “The Green Team project is a great initiative that gives people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to learn and improve their skills. This year we were able to get out onto some of the new Great Heath Living Landscape Project reserves, and take part in practical conservation tasks such as Himalayan balsam removal, wildlife surveying, and access work at Lytchett Bay. The whole team worked incredibly hard and were always enthusiastic, and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time spent with DWT.”

DWT Green Team member, Laurence Skinner said, “Working with DWT has been really interesting, especially learning about the Great Heath Living Landscape project. I have a real love for river habitats so I really enjoyed the time we spent removing Himalayan balsam from the riverbank. I hope to go onto university to study conservation and marine ecology and the work I’ve done with the Green Team is really going to help me achieve my goals.”

Fellow Green Team member Chris Goding said, “DWT is full of knowledgeable and committed staff and they have lots of volunteering opportunities for people from all walks of life. “My experience with the Green Team has made me consider taking an extra year at Aberystwyth University to complete an honours degree.

“All the practical skills I’ve learnt during my time here are going to prove extremely useful for my future career in conservation.”

For details about how to get involved with the Green Team programme, call Sally Wright on 01202 692033.