Flanders Moss, Blawhorn Moss & Loch Lomond NNR
So far you have met Ralph and now I would like you to meet David who has been volunteering with 2 Bogs, a swamp and some Islands for well over a year.
“My name is David McMillan and I recently graduated from the University of the Highlands and Islands with a degree in Environmveental Science.
I grew up in a family full of outdoor enthusiasts and I’m never happier than when I’m doing some form of activity/work outdoors. At school I had a lot of difficulties; I’m very dyslexic, and I was advised that I probably wouldn’t cope at University. The UHI actively encouraged me to apply for a course and when I found an environmental course I jumped at it.
The Environmental Science course was very enjoyable with a varied range of topics covered. However, I really wanted to get a deeper understanding of the management of our environment but I was initially unsure how I could achieve this. For me it was a natural step to do volunteering work. I have participated as an environmental volunteer since third-year at high school when I worked at Argaty Red Kite centre. I volunteered there for three years.
Since leaving Argaty I’ve worked for a number of organizations: the National Trust for Scotland, where I worked at various sites from Culzean Castle managing the estate grounds to Ben Nevis where I worked alongside the Nevis landscape partnership repairing some of the footpaths. Working with the conservation volunteers is very varied and often involves working alongside other organisations. Through my volunteering I was able to see and practise aspects of some of the coursework I had studied. I also found that there is much greater depth to the subjects than I had realized And of course, I have also volunteered with Scottish National Heritage and with the Scottish wildlife trust managing several varied reserves including wild meadows, birch tree forests, local park maintenance and marshland.
I have had great opportunity to expand my social skills. I’m naturally quite a shy person but voluntary workers are so easy to talk to. It’s a very relaxed work environment. The variety of work that I have experienced through these amazing organisations has led me to realise that I’m more interested in the work involved when looking after a park/reserve. I love the variety of tasks and environments found here and it means that I will have the opportunity to continue my education in the best classroom ever!”
David has been going about it the right way: he completed his studies and is now focusing on volunteering to gain the experience which will lead him into employment. David is extremely hard working, it is a joy to pick him up and take him out on the reserve, and I can relate to David due to having dyslexia myself and I’m always interested in hearing about the voluntary work he does with organizations other than SNH. Hopefully David will find full time employment soon as he truly deserves it after all the hard work he has been putting in volunteering to reach where he would like to be.
From 2 bogs, a swamp and some islands and from the rest of SNH we would like to say thank you for all your hard work David, its very much appreciated.