On Placement with Dunescapes: Bethany’s story

Having already volunteered on the Dynamic Dunescapes project at Studland, this student placement was the perfect opportunity for Helen to bolster her practical skills.

Hi, I am Bethany, and for the last few weeks I have been completing a combined citizen science and public engagement placement at Studland Bay, Dorset, as a part of the Dynamic Dunescapes Project. It has been such a rewarding experience, where I have been able to partake in various activities that make up aspects of science communication and professional ecology. For the first few weeks, I was able to get involved with reptile, invertebrate and plant surveys, which meant that I was able to get hands-on experience of the techniques that I had learned at university.

View over sand dunes with a small lake in view and thickets of purple heather.

It has been a valuable experience that has supplemented my studies and will help me to find future work in a similar field. In addition to this, I have also been fortunate to work with year 7 school groups; this has improved my confidence in public speaking, teaching and communication, and has made me realise that this is also a viable career path for me.

Meeting other students, professionals and staff has been amazing, and has allowed me to make connections with people that are also passionate about wildlife and the environment. It has been so exciting to see the conservation work that the National Trust has undertaken at Studland Bay, and rewarding to be a part of this positive change. I feel that I am better equipped for future studies and work, and I truly feel better connected to the places that I am lucky to call home. I am grateful to have been given this opportunity and would definitely recommend this placement for all future students.

About the Author

Bethany Legg
Dunescapes Placement Student

Bethany is currently studying Biological Sciences at the University of Exeter and has participated in a student placement at Studland Bay as a part of the Dynamic Dunescapes Project.