I grew up with a love of the outdoors and knew I wanted to work in ‘something to do with the environment’. Not really knowing specifically what that was, I decided to study Environmental Geography at the University of York, and after graduating in 2013 still wasn’t sure of the field I wanted to work in! I completed a Nature Conservation Traineeship with the North Pennines AONB Partnership and found that I really enjoyed working with volunteers on practical conservation projects. After searching for my first ‘real’ job for a while I took a break from job searching and was lucky enough to get a place volunteering with the Icelandic Environment Agency – the Iceland Conservation Volunteers. I travelled around the whole of Iceland for 3 months helping to build and maintain hiking trails, it was a fantastic experience and a chance to visit places unknown to most tourists. When I returned home I got a position as a Project Officer for Bristol Avon Rivers Trust. It was here where I learned about river restoration and loved leading volunteer groups and working in schools delivering education sessions. This led me to my current position of Conservation Officer for WWT.
I am the Conservation Officer for the Saving the Salt Hill Stream project in Slough. This is part of the WWT’s ‘Working Wetlands’ programme which is all about bringing wetlands and their associated benefits to people. My job is to help create new wetlands in urban areas, and engage the local community in building and managing them. I also help to connect people to the benefits wetlands provide, such as increased wildlife biodiversity, better physical and mental wellbeing, access to beautiful green and blue spaces and reduced flooding.
I get to work with so many different people on a wide range of activities, from creating rain gardens with schoolchildren to training adults as citizen scientists, it’s a varied and exciting role.