Wildlife Monitoring Officer - Herefordshire

Viv remembers when she was four years old being asked to sit on the edge of a pond for a photo with her dad and refusing because of the ‘nasty lizard things’ in the water but later on in her childhood, she recalls collecting slow worms on the Exeter Canal embankment, much to her parent's horror. Lo and behold – twenty years later, she became the Amphibian and Reptile Coordinator for Shropshire as part of Amphibian and Reptile Groups UK (ARG UK), where she raised awareness of these wonderful creatures and produced one of the first county survey reports on the great crested newt.

She has always loved animals of all kinds – even those that sting and bite, as I see their side of the argument. She took the BSc in Environmental Science at Plymouth, at a time when the concept of environmental science was barely heard of and went on to join the Environment Agency when it was the Rivers Regulation Board and worked in planning, fisheries, and conservation and recreation for many years.

She then worked for the Wildlife Trust as Planning and Wildlife Site Officer and has worked in private practice for ecological consultancies. She still works as a self-employed contract ecologist. She has European Protected Species licences for bats, great-crested newts, and hazel dormice and is a full member of Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Viv is currently taking a Diploma in Horticulture at Pershore College, Worcestershire and put her learning to good use by landscaping the garden area at Turnastone Court Farm Education Centre and Lodge.

Her main duties for CRT are wildlife monitoring on the Herefordshire farms, and leading the conservation management work parties at Awnells Farm and Turnastone Court Farm. 

Viv enjoys photography and writing about the natural world and regularly writes articles for The Lark and other publications. She loves sharing the wonders of our natural environment by teaching, giving talks, leading walks around the farms, and holding wildlife workshops.

She endeavours to live sustainably by recycling and upcycling. She enjoys textile crafts and has her own loom and spinning wheel, so she also has an interest in sheep – particularly rare breeds.

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