Senior Project Manager (Eelscapes)
A deep interest in nature inspired me to return to education to study Zoology at Queen Mary University, as a mature undergrad student. Following graduation, I spent some time volunteering and working part-time for London Wildlife Trust (LWT), before securing full-time work with them, initially in a community engagement and environmental education role, and then managing conservation projects and nature reserves. Whilst working for LWT I began a part time MSc in Protected Area and Countryside Management.
In 2012, I completed my studies and I moved to a new position managing Wiltshire Wildlife Trust nature reserves across south Wiltshire, comprising wetlands, grasslands, ancient and secondary woodlands, and urban sites. I began a new role as Conservation Manager in 2021, with oversight of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust estate and conservation projects across the county.
I have protected species licences for great crested newt, dormouse, and beaver, and have recently joined the Wiltshire Mammal Group as their volunteer Events Officer.
I now manage the Eelscapes Defra Landscape Recovery Pilot, a partnership between WWT Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, and the Environment Agency, working with 14 other land managers, in the Severn Vale catchment.
Initially funded as a two-year development phase, the long-term Eelscapes vision is to restore functioning and climate resilient floodplain wetlands in the Lower Severn Valley, and the threatened species that depend upon them. Our two focal species are the critically endangered European eel and true fox-sedge, a nationally scarce species with a small local colony. Through work to promote their recovery, we also hope to directly benefit a multitude of other priority and threatened species.
As part of the project, we are exploring how this wetland restoration and enhancement could benefit local communities, by creating new opportunities for recreation and education, helping with climate adaptation, and generating new sustainable business and investment options for landowners and private enterprise.