25th May 2017
Students from the Technical Skills Academy in Barking donned wellies and waterproofs as part of their work experience placements at Barking Park this week.
Working with Ruth Taylor, the park’s Education Ranger, they set about helping out with tasks including cleaning the lake before going on a mini beast hunt.
Having people to help with tasks like this at the park is essential. As Ruth explains:
“At this time of year there is a lot to do. We haven’t had much rain over the last few months which has meant that water is drying up and areas of water can become stagnant if it’s not looked after properly. We also have to make sure we keep litter out of the lake, so it doesn’t become polluted. If the water gets polluted this affects the wildlife, so clearing the lake is incredibly important.”
The students, who are studying event planning as part of their English for speakers of other languages course, were delighted to get involved. During the morning they spent with Ruth, armed with extendable litter pickers to work along the banks, or putting on waders to get into the lake itself, they were able to collect many bags of litter. Once the hard work was done, the students were then treated to a mini beast hunt to find out what sort of creatures live on the lake. They found lots of different things including beetle larvae, water mites and pond snails.
“We’re always looking for volunteers to get involved at Barking Park, so we really appreciated the students coming and spending time here as part of their College course. It’s amazing how much work can be done when there’s a group of people eager to help."
“I am very pleased with the hard work the students put in as it has made a significant difference. We have already started to get compliments from members of the public.”
17-year-old Bianca Botezatu commented,
“I found the experience interesting, although it was very cold in the lake, it felt good to help the environment.”
and her classmate Mehrullah Hamidi, also 17, agreed:
“I enjoyed the experience as it helped the environment and I did something good today for the community.”