About me: I am a zoology student halfway through my degree, with a huge interest in and passion for birds of prey. Growing up in Rutland provided the perfect backdrop for my interest in birds to be explored, and in 2012 I experienced conservation for the first time through the Wild Skills group at Rutland Water Nature Reserve. I stayed in this group until I turned 18, and came back for a while as a leader before going to university. This group has played a huge role in getting me to where I am today, boosting my confidence both in myself and in my knowledge of wildlife, giving me the inspiration to apply to further opportunities.
My next significant step and a real boost in my ornithological career was my first BTO Young Birder’s Camp which I attended in 2016, from which I was awarded the Cameron Bespolka Trusts’ first scholarship to attend the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Young Birder’s Event. This was of course an amazing experience, and inspired an interest in wildlife film making after a lecture by a film maker at the Cornell Lab. In 2017, I went to the Isle of May Young Birder’s Training Course, which was my first experience of seabird conservation. This was a really lovely event, and as the youngest attendee that year it was great to hear about everyone else’s career paths and what kinds of opportunities would be open to me in the coming years.
At the end of summer 2017 I found out that I had achieved the grades to go to my dream university, the University of Exeter, to do an MSc Zoology course, and I couldn’t have been happier. My time at university has been so amazing so far and I have learned a lot; this year I will be the President of the Wild Documentary Society, and have a heavy involvement with Nature Watch. I am super excited to have also gotten involved with the OLF this year; who knows what the next few years will hold?!