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.
My current role is focused on upskilling the industry in biodiversity net gain (BNG). This is through internal training with my company and externally as a trainer for CIEEM. I help clients create strategic approaches to BNG and promote BNG with other clients through my role with my company, often giving talks or presentations. I still do some field work, undertaking habitat and botanical surveys which is my specialist background, particularly doing work which underpins BNG assessments.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I dislike that more of my time is behind the desk and I miss not doing as much field work as I used to. I also miss the range of fieldwork as now if I do field work it is usually only in my specialist area of habitats, though as a generalist ecologist I can do a range of surveys. However, I do believe I have more impact across my current role through creating corporate approaches to biodiversity with clients and through contributions to shaping policy through consultations and workshops.
What inspired you into this career?
I was inspired by many things, including time spent in the garden at an early age, and being intrigued by the woodlice I could find under bricks. Going to a school with woodland at the back of it, which we would use a lot for all sorts of activities. Going on holiday to my Grandma’s who lived by the sea so getting access to this kind of environment. Being inspired by nature documentaries on tv and fascinated by animals. Having lots of pets at home growing up. Doing veterinary work experience when young. A real turning point was a gap year to South Africa to work with wild animals in the bush and at rehabilitation centres.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
Faced with similar challenges young people still seem to face to access the career, needing to do a lot of voluntary work to gain experience, which requires/assumes finances come from somewhere to allow you to do that. Started on a graduate salary where I went without so I needed to move to a much more cost-effective place to live (London to Scotland). Facing systemic challenges of being the wrong gender and colour which still affect folk today. I have been regularly ‘passed over’ where the opinion of a man has been sought instead of myself despite being specifically directed to myself for advice.
What education/training did you have?
I got A-levels, a degree with honours in Ecology and three vocational qualifications in Habitat Survey, Identification, and Management.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
It is a very worthwhile and rewarding career. Every day, I feel that I couldn’t be doing anything more important than trying to save and restore as much of our biodiversity as possible for the benefit of everyone. It was noted to me when young that everyone in this sector is really nice and that has been my experience, as everyone does this job for the real love of it and passion for wildlife.