March, 2011


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  • Diary of Mark Groves, Conservation Intern. Part 6. The Quad Bikes!

    Shortly after the highly motivational 'RSPB Experience' I headed off to “Three Holes” an off road training centre in Cambridgeshire to join my fellow conservation interns on a two day quad bike course. The quad bike is an essential piece of equipment used on many of the RSPB reserves. The course is designed to ensure we know how to operate the bikes properly and safely. After a morning of best practice and health and safety in the classroom we were raring to get stuck into the practical part.


    The Eastern Region's finest in action under the watchful eye of Andy

    Tango Man himself – Ricky where on earth did you get that boiler suit?

  • My Friday Volunteering #2


    I thought it was high time to write another update about what I've been doing at the Brighton office.

    Since I last wrote, I have made another poster (see above), which was for a science fair stall about owl diets - hence the owl chef! (That's right, it really does say 'house sparrow roast' on his menu!)

    Over the past few weeks I have been working on a series of illustrations for the RSPB's Pulborough Brooks reserve. These will be going onto the information boards around the reserve, highlighting things for visitors to notice and look out for. So far I have drawn a mole, a plump of moorhens and a hedgerow full of berries and small animals. Luckily, I was able to go and visit the Pulborough reserve before I started making the pictures, which has been incredibly helpful. Everytime I begin a picture, (as well as looking up images online), I take myself back to that day and it really gets me in a creative mindset!

    Today I have been doing some more illustrations for Jenny, to go in the Summer edition of Involve for the South East Region. One of these pages was especially interesting, featuring the Gola rainforest. I now know what a white-necked picathartes looks like, and if someone says the word 'bongo', I might think 'antelope', rather than 'drum'!

    Anyway, hope you've enjoyed reading,


  • Diary of Mark Groves, Conservation Intern. Part 5. The RSPB Experience.

    April has arrived and it is officially the start of my Conservation Internship. Most new RSPB employees and some full time volunteers are invited to attend a two day induction course at RSPB Head Quarters at the Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire. The aptly named “RSPB Experience” is an excellent opportunity to meet fellow RSPB employees and volunteers and understand what exactly they do within the organisation. The course also outlines the RSPBs’ operational areas and how the membership money is spent. The highlight for me was an inspirational lecture given by Dieter Hoffman of BirdLife International giving us a very clear snapshot of the crucial work carried out internationally by the RSPB in partnership with other global conservation institutions.

    The Lodge in all it's sping splendour....

    All around the Headquarters the RSPB have created and nurtured a diverse range of habitats for birds, insects and mammals alike e.g. one of the hillsides was once home to many pines and other species of tree, but they have been removed to encourage the growth of heather, which has dramatically declined across the region and across the country.

    I’m hedging my bets yew know what bird this is……!!!!!