Chloe Nicholson – Skills for Wildlife Trainee

Chloe Nicholson, fencingChloe Nicholson, fencing

Chloe Nicholson – Skills for Wildlife Trainee

Please can you describe your day-to-day role?

My day-to-day role can vary a lot, as I am based at Stirley Farm near Huddersfield with the other trainees. Working on the farm can involve land management, such as looking after the cows. I'll also conduct surveys on birds and butterflies, which helps us monitor the ecology of the site. For this year we have finished all our surveys within a set period. As Stirley Farm has only been open for two years, this data will be used to analyse the ecology status of the site in years to come.

I have also completed some short courses on how to survey trees, birds and how to examine fungi. Being a trainee involves completing a Level 2 NVQ in Environmental Conservation and collecting evidence for each unit. For one day a week I have been based at The Wildlife Trust for Sheffield & Rotherham.

In your opinion, what are the most important aspects of the work you do? And what are your main priorities?

Wildlife Conservation and land management are important aspects of being a trainee. The main priorities through these particular areas of work are collecting data and making observations as well as doing the physical work on site.

What do you find most rewarding about your work... and why?

I find most rewarding about my work overall is when I am able to finish a task and see the results have paid off. I enjoy making a change and accomplishing the end goal, which I have set out to achieve.

When did the natural environment first become important to you?

I have always had an interest in the outdoors. It became apparent to me when I went to secondary school that I had a deeper interest in the environment and in wildlife. I was learning about climate change in school and I became interested in how we could protect the environment and the planet, as it does not belong to us exclusively.

Why did you decide you would like this as a career?

As I am fascinated about nature and I would like to work towards protecting nature. My career is my hobby!

What would you like to do after Skills for Wildlife?

I am applying for Countryside Ranger jobs as I am interested in nature and wildlife, such as observing animal behaviours. I would like to go into research and help with raising awareness of the environment. We are nearly finished with our year-long traineeship and alongside the other trainees, I will be conducting a presentation showing what we have achieved during the year. There will also be a tour of Stirley Farm.

Do you involve the local communities in the projects you are involved with?

At Stirley Farm we do involve local communities with certain projects. On a Tuesday local volunteers help on the farm with the building and the vegetable garden. We have also had open days where the local community can visit the farm and see what we hope to achieve on-site. The school groups that visit the farm are shown around by Annie Russell, the School Education Officer for Stirley.

Are you involved with any other Wildlife Trust projects?

As a group we have been involved with water-vole management and helping at Potteric Carr in Yorkshire. We are mainly based at Stirley Farm and each of us has our own individual placement.