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Ryan Wood

Ryan, aged 18, is a truly inspirational Wildlife Watcher! Watch has helped him to cope with his dyslexia, and has led to him finding his passion in life!

From the moment I was able to walk I was inquisitive about the natural world, making a 100m walk last about 1 hour. When I was 6 I joined the Shropshire Wildlife Watch group, where I was introduced to even more of the natural world and was given the chance to complete the John Muir gold award, which was a great experience! 

I struggled in school with dyslexia, but the Watch group gave me the confidence to continue and expand my knowledge without the pressure of expectations. As I grew up through the group I would help the younger ones coming in. I then helped at some of the events that took place at the headquarters and out at other sites, which built my confidence and my experience.

I did my school work experience at the Shropshire Wildlife Trust and after my GCSEs I attended Reaseheath College, a big landbased college, to take the Level 2 Countryside Management qualification. During this time I was lucky enough to take part in more work experience at the Trust, and I was then given the opportunity to apply for a young Darwin scholarship!

I was so proud and pleased to be awarded one of the 15 Darwin scholarships given each year in the UK, and after that I won student of the year on my course. I'm now in the 2nd year of the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Conservation and Wildlife Management, which is allowing me to expand my skills and my knowledge. 

I'm currently waiting to see if I have been selected to attend an IFAW youth forum in South Africa, ahead of the international conservation forum. It will be incredibly exciting if I'm chosen to go! I also have an exciting 2016 ahead of me as I've applied to take the Countryside, Conservation and Recreational Management degree in September. 

Wildlife Watch gave me the opportunity to hone my skills, increase my passion and expand my knowledge to follow my future career. I'd advise anybody to join! 

Ryan Wood

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