Thursday, 4 July 2013

Training - should also be a fun day out!

South West FWAG - a lovely group to spend the day with!

I have been really busy with training days lately – 4 days out of the last 10 have been spent with a variety of groups. As I have said before, I help with technical training up-dates for Conservation grade farmers and 2 of these days were held on farms in Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire. Another "BASIS Certificate in Conservation" course was held for South West FWAG advisors in Dorset and finally I organised a workshop on rare arable flowers for the Marlborough Downs Nature improvement area.
I always try to make any training event relaxed and informal. I don’t like “lecturing” attendees, but prefer to discuss and debate topics, getting them to do plenty of the talking. I also nearly always build in an “outside” element as I feel it is important to see the things that we have been talking about in situ – a picture paints a thousand words and all that!
Training is so important I believe. If you want good advisors who really know their stuff and in turn, farmers who know how to deliver the “conservation ask” on their farms, then clear guidance is crucial. Also, if the public are to understand exactly what is going on in the countryside, then we also need to spend time explaining to them how this often bewildering, complicated countryside actually works!
Hopefully, a good workshop or course can also, if it goes according to plan, leave people inspired and enthused – surely a hugely important part of any training day!
Conservation Grade farmers admiring a recently created pond

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