A week as a Landmark Practice ecologist …

We were lucky enough to accommodate a superb student for work placement this summer, enthusiastic and very happy to get stuck in, this is what she thought of her week with us here at The Landmark Practice…

I applied for work experience at The Landmark Practice, hoping to gain a wider understanding of ecology, and they kindly offered me a placement.  I had little knowledge of what career I would like to pursue in the future but knew ecology was a good option for me as I have always loved helping animals.  I was able to experience most parts of the job, including surveys, monitoring and office work.  Every staff member (and their dogs) were very welcoming and I felt immediately comfortable.  

 On Monday we undertook a monitoring visit of three bat houses and it was an experience I will never forget.  I saw hundreds of Lesser Horseshoe bats in their roosts and even saw one Brown Long-eared bat.  On Tuesday I helped complete a reptile survey and saw over 20 slow worms and even got to handle a couple of them.  I then helped to do a data search which showed where different species and plants have been found close to the building site. 

 On Wednesday we travelled down to Devon to do a dormouse survey which involved checking nest tubes for any evidence of Dormice.  This informed me of the process that is needed to make sure the endangered species and their habitat are not harmed.  On the night I was able to take part in a dusk bat survey which involved using bat detectors to record the bats. 

 Thursday I was shown landscape design and GIS.  I helped draw out part of a map which was then used and developed to show a building site.  This helped me understand how important it is for ecologists and landscape designers to work together and what they do.  

 Friday I read a report written to a company about the actions the ecologists have taken to ensure the site is safe to build on.  I also helped produce a table for the landscape architects to show the different plants and trees that can be planted on a site. 

 After going to Landmark and experiencing what ecologists do, I now know it’s a career I would definitely like to follow.  This experience has helped me decide on what I want to do in life and has given me new goals and opportunities that I didn’t know existed.  For example, after visiting the bat houses I am aiming to volunteer on bat surveys and hopefully in the future apply for a bat licence. Going to Landmark for work experience has given me more motivation to do well in school and go to university.  I feel very lucky to have gone to The Landmark Practice for a week and meet such hard working people making a difference.”

As environmental consultants, we all have sustainability at heart, but this needn’t conflict with development.  Yes, we may identify constraints that must be managed but our role also involves seeking opportunities to safeguard and enhance existing features and in doing so, augment the value of quality, sustainable development.  This is something that we are enthusiastic about at The Landmark Practice, and it’s good to see that our enthusiasm is contagious!  Needless to say, we were very pleased to welcome such a promising individual into our practice and profession.

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