I feel lucky to have landed a job that differs on daily basis and is in a field that I am passionate about; the conservation of species. So, what drew me to animal conservation? As a child, I was lucky enough to have a family that immersed me in the natural world. My dad would take me to the local woods, where we would listen to the birds and rummage through leaves and logs in search of any animal life. From then on, I became fascinated by the natural world. Nature always played a role in my life growing up; whether it was painting natural subject matter like flowers, animal skulls and pine cones or going on long walks through the countryside and watching the world go by. This passion for nature led me to study Zoology at the University of Exeter, where I achieved a First Class Honours degree.
Before and during university, I experienced some incredible wildlife through volunteering and field trips. With the RSPB, I helped to monitor a peregrine falcon nest and engaged with the public about these amazing birds. I have also volunteered for a loggerhead turtle charity in Kefalonia. Here, I helped to preserve nests and oversee the journey of hatchlings to the sea, as many factors such as artificial light from beach bars can divert their route. In the photo here, you can see we have made a trench for the turtles to follow, so that they can imprint on the beach and return back to the very same place to lay eggs in the future.
A very memorable field trip for me at university was to Costa Rica. Being in a country that prioritised their wildlife was fantastic to experience. For example, during Leatherback turtle nesting season, some beaches are completely closed from the public and are monitored nightly to stop egg poachers. To be able to govern conservation initiatives through the understanding of animal ecology, as Costa Rica do, would be a major career ambition of mine. After finishing university, I was faced with the daunting task of finding my first full time job in the conservation sector. I applied to many places but to no avail - competition is very high for conservation work! I then landed the role at Badger Trust, which has already provided me with some great opportunities within the wildlife world - from field work, where I have learnt to identify an active badger sett, to understanding current wildlife issues in Britain through attending political debates.
We should be proud of the array of species we have in the UK, particularly the badger, which once roamed Britain with wolves and bears!
With this in mind, I am excited to continue to contribute to the fantastic work that the Badger Trust does, in order to promote and conserve this species.
01 June 2018