Each summer and winter brings a new edition of Cley Calling Festival to NWT Cley Marshes, and it was in the run up to the former of these that I began my internship with Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Working as a Marketing and Events Intern, I was quickly initiated in the many areas of promotion, and set on the right path to bringing as many visitors as possible to the extensive range of events that were part of the festival.
And it was a success! The weekend of Cley Calling: Changing Tides brought visitors young and old to the centre to enjoy walks, talks and all-sorts. Attendance at these events continues to rise each year as Cley Calling’s reputation for hand-picked special performers and speakers grows. I am proud and satisfied for my part in raising its awareness too.
The wonderful thing about working for NWT, and in events specifically, is that every day provides renewed opportunities to make a difference. From offering the chance for visitors to meet their favourite esteemed naturalists, to introducing children to the magically miniature world of plankton; it’s easy to see that NWT gives people the chance to learn and engage with wildlife on a higher level. All this, and the proceeds of the events will go back into funding the important work of the Trust.
Being an intern I am also (thankfully) not expected to know everything, and this role has and continues to be an invaluable learning experience. I have received guidance on PR and social media management, training on website maintenance, and practised elements of graphic design. There are also some things I did not expect to learn, such as how to navigate a “bird has nested in the car park and we can’t move it” situation. I can also now tell the difference between a dragonfly and a damselfly, a birder and a twitcher, and have an ongoing list of birds that I have seen and learnt to recognise at Cley. New aspects of the job unfurl each day, and with a steady stream of events happening, there is always something to be working towards.
Cley Calling: Changing Tides was the perfect introduction to NWT, and as a celebration of nature through art, music, walks and workshops, it intersects multiple areas of appeal. There are so many ways that we can learn about and celebrate wildlife, and Cley Marshes, having been the blueprint for nature conservation on reserves across the UK, is the perfect location to do this. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to contribute my time and effort to this place, and there is no better motivation than to be here, seeing all that that achieves.
The worst thing about my job? It will end in December! But, I am hopeful that this experience will lead me on to equally good things.
Emily’s internship has been administered by the UEA Internship Programme, and is a paid role, fully funded by NWT corporate supporter Orsted UK (formerly Lincs Wind Farm), as part of their continuing commitment to support conservation apprenticeships and internships with the Trust.