Gretchen is the new People and Wildlife Officer at The Welsh Wildlife Centre, prior to this she worked as a primary school teacher with responsibility for Sustainability and Environmental Education. This involved encouraging engagement with outdoor learning and promoting environmental learning throughout the curriculum.
I volunteered for a local conservation group for ten years, managing a variety of habitats for the benefit of wildlife and people, before moving to Ceredigion in August 2017. My partner Paul and I, perhaps crazily, gave up permanent jobs in order to move somewhere that we believed would enhance our wellbeing. Visiting various UK locations over the space of 18 months, it had to be Ceredigion once I’d seen the dolphins!!
Before I’d even arrived here, I had signed up as a volunteer with Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre and we have spent many happy days exploring sites of natural beauty in the area. We had already explored much of North Wales so next on the list is Pembrokeshire.
I feel very privileged to be working at the Welsh Wildlife Centre; it’s a beautiful site with a variety of habitats and wildlife. My hope is to engage with as many people as possible to show them the awe and wonder of the natural world. Recently, I ran a mini beast safari for pre schoolers that attracted over 25 children (plus accompanying adults and babies). It’s great to see the enthusiasm and excitement of children during these encounters and gives me hope for the future.
There’ll be plenty more opportunities for inspiring future conservationists, with school trips booked in July and lots of interest in our upcoming holiday sessions. It’s going to be busy!! However, I shan’t be complaining. I’m combining what I trained for with what I love and life doesn’t get better than that!
Gretchen can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org