I spent the weekend just gone at Hatfield Forest on a Woodlife Trails Diploma Weekend with some of my fellow students demonstrating verbally and practically some of the skills that we have already learnt. The skills that we successfully demonstrated were then awarded to us. The Diploma Weekends are always a relaxed affair unlike some courses that you attend that make you feel as if you are being crammed with lots of info in the shortest possible time.
Most turn up with their minds and movements running at around 90MPH, a busy week at work, rushing around getting things done, battling through the traffic to get to the course and then just as if someone has enabled the limiter you slow right down and start to immerse yourself in to the Forest. The calming effect of the Forest washes over you and your set for a weekend of good company and learning.
On the Sunday we were on our way back from the obligatory cuppa and bag of chips at the National Trust cafe when a Fallow Doe and her Fawn were spotted some way off the track into the trees.
I was carrying my camera with the 400mm lens attached and I could see mum muzzling the Fawn. Mum decided to go for a walk leaving the Fawn sat on its own. Not wanting to distress the Fawn we all stayed back on the track whilst Pablo very carefully went in for a closer look. He skilfully managed to get within metres of the fawn without disturbing or distressing it.
I don’t think he will mind me mentioning that when he returned back to the group he was emotionally affected by the experience. Pablo has been tracking for a long time and tracked many animals so it was great to see that even your mentors still get affected by what they are teaching, this shows they still have a real passion for what they do..
I can only hope that one day I will have a similar experience.