I'm loving every day of it

Rowena HargillRowena Hargill

Rowena Hargill, Trainee Planning Officer

Animals have always been a part of my life from having pets at home to volunteering work and now to my studies. Growing up in Yorkshire, I was always surrounded by the countryside. I loved being outside, and I was always asking questions, I thrived off learning new things that I could then impress my friends with.

My dad has a great passion for the outdoors, so we spent a lot of time at various reserves across the country or anywhere with animals; such as the vast array of open farms near to my home town. At 14 I started my first volunteer job at an open farm which specialised in working with disabled people and showing them how great it is to work outside. This is when I knew that working in education was important, and it was what I wanted to do with my life.

After leaving school I then went on to go to Askham Bryan to study Animal Management, and it was here that I was inspired to go down a path of conservation. While I was there I organised various fundraising events for different conservation groups, such as the Born Free Foundation. I enjoyed knowing that even though I was getting a qualification I was still helping organisations across the globe.

Once I left college (as the best in my class) I then flew the nest to study Animal Conservation Science at the University of Cumbria. My first two years were spent learning the theory side of conservation and enjoying living in such a wonderful place. Oh and also a small trip to The Gambia to help conservation projects out there. Now into my third year, I was grateful to be offered the opportunity of a placement scheme with Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

I am now around half way through my placement, and loving every day of it. I have learnt practical skills that have put into practise what I have been taught at university. In the New Year I will also be doing more training courses such as outdoor first aid and various NVQs that will help me progress in the education side of conservation.

After this placement I will go back to university confident that I will graduate with a strong dissertation under my belt and heaps of practical skills. Hopefully with all this I can fulfil what I have always wanted to do and work in education, whether it be an education officer for one of the Wildlife Trusts or in another organisation like the farm I first started volunteering.