THIS summer, a group of BCoT students will be taking part in a volunteering programme for ARCHELON – the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece.

The students, on the Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management, will be part of an international contingent of 400 volunteers who monitor and protect the sea turtle nesting beaches of Greece.

They will assist the turtles through monitoring and protecting nests, field research, habitat restoration and raising public awareness.

Since 1983, the primary objective of ARCHELON has been to protect the sea turtles and their habitats in Greece.

Its work relies heavily on volunteers from all over the world who work on the nesting beaches and in the Rescue Centre.

Every summer, 50 miles of nesting beaches, including Zakynthos, Peloponnesus and Crete, are monitored daily.

This includes more than 2,500 nests that are protected against human threats, predation and sea inundation.

The BCoT volunteers are very excited and enthus-iastic about their independent venture and the prospect of spending the summer working in Greece.

One of the learners taking part is Curtis Leeds Ahearne.

He said: “I cannot wait to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Words cannot describe how excited I am to be involved in this. To help such an important animal in their natural habitat means so much to me.”

Another student, Lorraine Baker, said: “This will be an experience of a lifetime that I never dreamed I would be part of until my tutor put the idea to me.

“I’m looking forward to working with the turtles and learning everything about them.”

Matthew Simonds, co-ordinating lecturer in Animal Management at BCoT, who has helped the students to organise the trip, believes that the volunteers will gain so much from their time spent with ARCHELON.

He said: “After working for sea turtle conservation for seven years, I am very pleased that the students will undertake this rewarding challenge.

“They will learn first-hand the conservation strategies in place to protect endangered species and will be able to relate their lessons to the practical application of these strategies.”