Starting my marine traineeship

Georgie BlowGeorgie Blow

Georgina Blow - Trainee Marine & Coastal Conservation Officer

April 2016

The UK coastal and marine environment has held a large draw to me from a young age. As I child I loved exploring the different coastlines and shores the UK has to offer. The UK marine environment contains such an amazing variety of life; a look into a rock pool at your local seashore provides a fantastic diversity of marine creatures and plants such as small fishes, snails, molluscs, anemones, worms, star fish, seaweed and so much more.

My interest in the marine environment led me to undertake an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography at the University of Southampton. As well as succeeding in bringing me closer to the sea, I gained a much greater understanding of the marine environment and affirmed my passion for this subject. It was also during these years that I began to see just how truly diverse our UK marine environment really is. This was further reinforced when I decided to brave the English waters and undertake my dive training. During these trips and later ones I would undertake, I never failed to see some interesting feature or species of plant or animal.

After finishing my course I spent some time abroad, volunteering with a marine conservation group in China and then travelling around Indonesia before returning back to the UK ready to undertake my postgraduate degree. For this I moved down to Falmouth where I studied Conservation and Biodiversity at the University of Exeter.

After finishing my degree I began working for a Green Energy Company and looking for opportunities to gain experience in UK marine conservation. It was then that I found out about the Marine & Coastal Heritage Traineing Programme, which provides such a fantastic and unique opportunity, along with the chance to spend some time in a such a beautiful part of the country I hadn’t been lucky enough yet to spend much time in. Three days in I can already tell what a great experience it’s going to be and can’t wait to see what the next nine months hold in store!

January 2017

Nine months on and I’ve just come to the end of my traineeship. It has been fantastic experience and during which I have learnt a wide variety of new skills. The incredible diversity of the programme means that rarely have two days been the same: I have undertaking training, led workshops, given presentations, ran events, carried out surveys and so much more.

I know that I have learnt a lot and gained a wealth of new experience, even undertaking tasks which I could never have imagined doing nine months ago- for example giving an hour long talk to a group of over forty people! Although I have enjoyed every moment of my traineeship, some highlights would have to be….

  • Carrying out a variety of different surveys with a number of different organisations, from identifying and counting wading birds, to surveying invasive species and conducting inter-tidal mussel surveys.
  • Planning and leading a range of events, workshops and presentations, such as the trust’s annual Beached Art event which saw 250+ people gather on St Bees beach to celebrate the Irish Sea!
  • Finally increasing my knowledge through a variety of different training and having the chance to learn from a diverse range of people, such as on a trip to Anglesey to meet the North Wales Wildlife Trust

I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to learn so much during the last nine months and know that the experience gained during this traineeship will be sure to help me to secure a job in the future.