Hello everyone!

I'd like to introduce a new staff member to you all. Emily joined the team recently and will be working with us as our Reserve Assistant for the next six months to gain valuable work experience in conservation. Here's Emily to tell you a bit about what she's been up to:  

Hello! I’m Emily and I am the Reserve Assistant for RSPB Titchwell Marsh in Norfolk. Within a week of working on the reserve I heard the phrase “normal for titchwell”. I think this is a good indication of what working here is like. Out of the ordinary things happen and there’s no time to be surprised, you just have to deal with it and move on to the next thing. It’s one of the things that makes working here so fun and interesting. There’s never a dull day at Titchwell.

 

I found this role when I was searching online for jobs in conservation. I have a marketing degree but I wanted a more hands on position where I could feel like I’m really helping. One of the best things about my role as reserve assistant is that I get to work in every department which means everyday is different. Some days I help out in the welcome hub which involves greeting our wonderful visitors and telling them all about our reserve. For me, a big part of this job is greeting all the dogs and making sure they are well fussed and know where they can and can’t go before entering the reserve. Other days I will be doing more practical, hands on work such as strimming vegetation and drilling signs up around the reserve. I really enjoy doing these kinds of jobs around the reserve and am hoping to improve my practical skills throughout my time here.

 Another part of my role is assisting the catering staff in the cafe which involves serving our visitors who need a quick drink and something to eat before they go out and explore the reserve. This is a nice opportunity to engage with the visitors and ask them if they’re enjoying their day and if they’ve spotted anything exciting! I also work in our shop, assisting visitors and taking payment from them. This is another good opportunity to chat to them and I always enjoy an excited visitor who can’t wait to tell you what interesting bird they’ve seen that day. It also helps me to improve on my bird identification which is one of my main aims for my 6 months here. Luckily my colleagues are always happy to share their abundance of bird knowledge with me.

No day at Titchwell for me is the same. Although I may be told I will be in a certain area for the day, I often find myself on the other side of the reserve doing another job. If I am in the welcome hub and it’s quiet, I may be asked to paint a bench, clean the picnic tables or put a sign up in one of the hides. I love days where I’m sent on little adventures around the reserve as I always like to keep busy and moving. I have recently been asked to create a new trail for the reserve as part of our summer activities for families. I’m very excited to use my marketing brain and come up with lots of ideas for this and I hope when it’s finished that I will get the chance to put the signs up on the trail myself and work on my drill skills!  

I am really enjoying life as the reserve assistant at Titchwell Marsh and I couldn't have asked for better colleagues. Everyone has been so welcoming and supportive of me and always happy to help me out and answer one of my million questions.  I can’t wait to learn as much as I can from them and come away from this job having gained so much experience and new skills. I will be very sad to say goodbye to all of them.

One important thing I have been taught about life on the reserve is that you must always have your camera ready! I’m certain by the end of the 6 months there will be a collection of rather unflattering but amusing photos of me wet and muddy with twigs in my hair. That would be what we call “normal for titchwell” and I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

I'll keep you updated on my adventures. 

Emily. 

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