Our Youth Engagement Officer Jenn had Jake Knuckey (a Marine Biology student from Falmouth Marine School) working with her over Love Your Beach week. Jenn and Jake have been all around the county, let’s see what Jake thought of his week.
“Love your beach week was initially only one day, Valentine’s day, to give people an opportunity to help across all the beaches in Cornwall and keep them clean. The day was solely devoted to loving your beach and keeping it clean and has recently become “Love Your Beach” week.
My experience of this week has taught me that it is vitally important to keep your beaches clean. There have been many times I’ve been out on the beach and seen the obvious large pieces of litter stranded however when you are physically looking for rubbish along the beach and you look more carefully you find many, many more pieces of litter such as fishing net fragments, polystyrene and smaller bits of plastics all entangled in pieces of seaweed or sitting in the sand. Even these smaller pieces are vital to pick up, not just the larger fragments.
My work experience week has been spent working with the Your Shore Beach Rangers, Youth Engagement Officer Jenn Sandiford. We’ve spent our time going out to various beaches across Cornwall on both coasts working with various groups such as Three Bays Wildlife Trust, National Lobster Hatchery and Looe Marine Conservation Group. This week has been very inspiring for me and I feel more passionate now about keeping the coastline and beaches around Cornwall a safe environment and keeping them rubbish free. I discovered that Cornwall Wildlife Trust has nature reserves all over the county and the headquarters are on a nature reserve in Allet of which I was given a tour. This gave me an insight into the background work of CWT and the other agencies they work with.
I was also invited to go to a climate change meeting at County Hall in Truro. There was a large group of people ranging from young people passionate about climate change to teachers and lecturers who are adamant to make a change in people’s views and attitudes towards it by education. I was very fortunate to attend this, and I found it interesting to hear the different views people had about climate change. It also introduced to me the new idea about the effects climate change has on young people and how the possibility of not having a future can be damaging to mental health and wellbeing. The experience I have had working with YSBR has given me a better insight as to the sort of career available under the umbrella of “conservation”. It has given me possible ideas for volunteering or a career path and has given me a passion towards the works of conservation”.