62 field assistants participated on the field survey under the LIFE Energy project and walked more than 32 thousand kilometers in field. The field survey was focused on identification of the most dangerous parts of over 7 thousand kilometers of power lines in 13 project SPAs. Different types of bird flight diverters are being installed on the selected power lines in order to protect birds from collisions and to gather data about efficiency of different products available.
In order to recognize the opinion and impressions of our field assistants we involved them in a social survey. The results were surprising, inspiring and extremely interesting.
The social survey was successfully completed to find out the project field staff social structure and demographics as well as their experience, views and feelings of the days spent in the field. The number of 53 field assistants answered our inquisitive questions. Great thanks to all of them. Here are the most important and interesting findings.
Results show the dominance of younger university educated men.
Structure in terms of employment
About a third of field staff was those who have jobs quite different from ecology, biology or nature protection, so project work was quite new experience for them. They uncovered intensive demand for biodiversity protection. Some of them are educated in environmental branch but not employed in this field, so they evaluated the possibility not to lose contact with trend.
Eight university students and four university educationalists were included to field work. They appreciated the opportunity to combine the study theory with the practice.
Structure in terms of residence
The most of field assistants comes from the southern and western part of Slovakia not very far from project area. But for many of them there was a great opportunity to discover the specific wild nature of lowland agricultural land.
Our question on what was the reason of choosing the project field assistant position brought various meaningful answers such as job opportunity, helping the nature, discovering new areas, gaining new experience and skills, friendsꞌ encouraging, active field work or just “I like to go out paths”. 96 % of respondents would accept the offer to become a project field worker again, if it arrives.
Survey on personal acquisition and experience
Answers show that project field work was very physically and psychically demanding. But no one of the respondents found it as a waste of time or energy, many of them discover their personal limits, they gained useful knowledge, skills and unforgettable experience. Rubbed off shoes, losses of weight, nerve, pens, cameras, socks etc. were the only things mentioned as a loss. All of them are concerned for the alarming number of birds killed by electric wires and recognized necessity of practical biodiversity projects like this one.
Survey on environmental training
Almost all of respondents confirmed that it is very important to include environmental issues in preschool, elementary and secondary school training. They believe that a separate subject is the best solution, but at the same time skilled and educated teachers are necessary as well as well prepared curriculum. And, of course, family contribution to children’s awareness was considered to be essential. It is clear that young people from project field staff will carry this message in their own future lives.