About me

I grew up in Somerset and Gloucestershire perfect places for a child with a passion for wildlife and the outdoors, I spent most of my younger years helping out at the local farm where most importantly they had horses and dogs (other than ducks my greatest loves)

I have a keen interest in animal behaviour and have attended many courses over the years and have trained animals with reward based training. I’m a keen runner and have competed with my two Sled dogs (a Siberian husky and a Scandinavian hound) across the UK and Europe on the GB Canicross team and recently completed the 2018 London Marathon (dog less!)

Work

I started working at WWT Slimbridge in January 1989 in the restaurant, unfortunately I was made redundant a few years later but stayed with WWT and volunteered in the tropical house and the duckery where I was lucky to be given a job as Duckery warden a few months later.

My time in the duckery was an incredible experience working with some amazing species, also inspirational and skilled people from whom I learned a lot and inspired me so much in my work as an aviculturalist, I left to have my daughter but was lucky to be able to still volunteer in the evenings and when needed for catches etc.

I also spent a few years working in the shop at Slimbridge whilst my children were small and continued to help out with the Avic team when time allowed.

In 2012 I was asked if I could help out with some cover in the CBU team looking after the Spoon Billed Sand-pipers a couple of days a week I obviously jumped at the chance and five and a half years later I’m still here and loving it.

I have been lucky enough to not only work with the Spoonies but to help out with the Great Crane project, walking Cranes, feeding, cleaning and looking at some of the behaviours of captive reared birds. In 2014 I was able to go to Germany to collect eggs, this was an incredible experience one I will never forget.

In 2016 I went back to Germany this time to collect Godwit eggs ahead of the “Headstarting” project at Welney to trial the rearing method back here at Slimbridge.

I also help care for CBU’S captive black-tailed godwits, Baers pochard and ferruginous duck all of which are forcurrent and future projects helping us to trial new methods of breeding rearing and release(head starting)

Skills

  • A good understanding of animal husbandry – good practice
  • Designing and building aviaries to house Ducks and waders
  • Installing a large array of fan’s, lights and ponds into aviaries
  • Experience breeding and rearing a large variety and Ducks, Geese, swans, flamingos and waders
  • A good understanding of animal behaviour
  • A good understanding of artificial incubation
  • Willing to come in in the middle of the night and knock snow of aviary nets