What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
£40,001 – £50,000
Please describe the work that you do.
I work on how we can implement the national Flood & Coastal Risk Management strategy at a local level which for me means maximising the use of nature based solutions. I collaborate with partners to develop a catchment-wide strategy and work with them to develop and implement schemes on the ground. These range from peatland restoration through to setting back flood defences in urban areas. I also deliver training and mentoring to colleagues on Natural Flood Management.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I love being able to play a part in restoring and creating habitat and seeing physical changes on the ground. When you have had a bit of a hard day, looking at aerial photos of a new pond that you have played a key role in creating makes it all worthwhile. Not really a dislike but dealing with communities who have flooded is really hard and heart-breaking at times. There can be some difficult conversations as there isn’t enough time or money to help everyone to the level they would like.
What inspired you into this career?
I feel like I’ve wondered around a lot in my career but somehow it’s coming together. I always wanted to make a difference (although didn’t really know how I would do that). I always loved nature and being in the natural environment and have managed to always have a job linked to that. I had no idea I would end up in flood risk but it’s a great opportunity to increase the profile of nature-based solutions in that sector.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
Before moving into my current role, I’d worked on flood risk schemes in different roles for many years. Although it is changing, I’ve been in many meetings where I’ve been the only woman. Particularly when I was starting out and people didn’t know me, I had to find ways to make my voice heard. In terms of progressing my career, I find that sometimes it takes quite a lot to put yourself out there and I’ve lacked confidence and needed a bit of a push from a colleague to go for certain opportunities.
What education/training did you have?
I’ve got a BSc in Marine Biology & Costal Ecology and an MSc in Aquatic Biology & Resource Management. Sadly now I live in the middle of the country although I do a lot with water so it has all been useful and gave me a good grounding in ecological principles. When first starting out, I went on a lot of training courses around habitat legislation and protected species surveys. As I moved through roles, I had training on Environmental Impact Assessments and project management.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
There is so much scope and variety in career paths and it is only growing at the moment. We need to innovate to meet the climate change so the job you end up doing may not have existed when you start out. My advice would be to take a job that gives you a reason to get out of bed on a morning and be open to opportunities as you never know where they might take you but it could be something amazing.