Jo Thomas

Waterscape Manager (The Fens)

Contact details

About me

I joined WWT in July 2022. Prior to this I worked as a Lead Adviser in Cambridgeshire for Natural England with a focus on wetland sites.

At the age of around eight years old, it was a beautiful singing male Yellowhammer that sparked a life-long interest in birds. As soon as I could drive I volunteered at local nature reserves including Blacktoft Sands and Fairburn Ings. A love of wetlands developed and to this day I get a real buzz from being in and around wetlands, appreciating all wildlife from dainty wading birds to dragonflies and dropworts.

In my early twenties I left a full time job working in a bank to pursue a career in conservation and I have never looked back! It began with a six-month contract at Titchwell Marsh in Norfolk, followed by a few months working jointly with the local Wildlife Trust and RSPB at the Ouse Washes in Cambridgeshire, then to Scotland for ten months as information warden at Vane Farm, Loch Leven. I recall the last of the swallows leaving on their migration and the incredible sight and sound of 20,000 Pink-footed Geese arriving overnight from Greenland/Iceland - incredible.

With a couple more contracts under my belt, including a Barn Owl Project in the Cambridgeshire Fens, I settled in Cambridgeshire in the fulfilling role as warden at Grafham Water Nature Reserve, working in partnership with Anglian Water and the local Wildlife Trust for eight years.

My role

In my role as Waterscape Manager in the Fens, I am keen to bring about positive change and contribute to WWT’s target of enhancing existing and creating new wetland habitats in partnership with others. Having a real love and appreciation of wetlands, wildlife and peoples wellbeing all helps!

My remit is to support landowners and managers, including farmers and community groups, to enhance, restore and create new wetlands for biodiversity and multiple benefits, such as natural flood management, drought resilience, carbon storage and improved water quality.

Experience and interests

  • Ornithology, including survey and monitoring
  • Broad understanding of habitats and habitat management
  • Fundraising
  • Connecting people with wildlife
  • Resourcefulness
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