I am currently in my final year of studying Environmental Science with the Open University, and distance learning has enabled me to volunteer and work part-time at Slimbridge while I study. Previously, I studied English Literature at university and had a very different career in the financial industry; but it wasn’t for me and I decided to retrain to work in conservation.
I am interested in soils, plants and insects and the ecosystem services they provide, so it was an ideal opportunity for me to join the Conservation Breeding Unit (CBU) as a volunteer horticulturalist. My grandma inspired my interest in birds from a young age, and working alongside the birds and all the passionate people in the CBU has rubbed off on me. I love waders, and working with the godwits always makes me happy.
I started in April 2021 as a volunteer, mainly looking at ways plants could improve water quality and growing different wetland plants to see what could be cultivated. Luckily Nigel, Rosa, and the rest of the CBU team were happy to teach me about aviculture. I was also lucky enough to go to WWT Welney with the team to help with a godwit health check, which was an amazing experience. I have learnt so much from them all and I am grateful for the opportunities they have given me.
In October 2021, I was very excited to become part of the CBU team as a Veterinary Support Officer. I support Rosa with avian influenza reporting and data recording and I also help with aviculture at the CBU, mainly with the Baer’s pochard and black-tailed godwits, and I still ‘look after’ the plants when I can.