We catch up with the newest full time team member, Phoebe, in this welcome blog.
Hi Phoebe, tell us about yourself.
Hello! I’m Phoebe, the new Project Officer at the Crichton Carbon Centre. For as long as I can remember I have always been fascinated by our natural world and I am happiest when I am outdoors, whether that is hiking up a Munro, running, wild swimming, biking, or simply being amongst nature. Loving the outdoors has provided me with a connection to the natural environment and a drive to protect it. I am also deeply passionate about tackling the climate crisis and these combined interests have driven me to this role. I aim to make a positive difference and contribute to protecting our planet for future generations.
You have a background in ecology – what did that include?
Prior to my MSc and joining CCC I worked for an Ecological consultancy, my role involved conducting protected species and habitat surveys for various development projects, primarily focusing on species such as bats, great crested newts, badgers, otters, reptiles, amphibians, and water voles (a protected species also found on Scotland’s peatlands! Which I am currently looking at for CCC). I also conducted Phase 1 habitat surveys, river quality assessments, managed projects, and handled report writing. While I gained some experience with peatlands, it wasn’t until I started my role at CCC that I fully understood the significance of peatland restoration for biodiversity and the climate.
More recently you completed an MSc in Climate Justice. Has that influenced how you work and your outlook on climate and environmental issues?
Completing my MSc in Climate Justice at Glasgow Caledonian University earlier this year has significantly shaped my perspective on addressing climate and environmental issues. This program emphasized the interconnectedness of environmental problems with broader societal challenges, highlighting that climate change isn't solely an environmental concern but a social one as well. It underscored how climate change impacts different communities disproportionately and how climate mitigation strategies can affect people differently. This newfound awareness has influenced a more community-focused approach in my work, which is important in peatland restoration, where building strong relationships with farmers and landowners, and prioritizing their interests, is paramount to achieving sustainable solutions.
What projects will you be working on for us at CCC?
I have joined CCC as a Project Officer, with my main role surveying and mapping peatland and designing restoration plans. Peatland Action and Peatland code will be the main projects I will be involved in.
But CCC do more than restore peatlands, and so far, I have been involved in a range of different projects! I have helped run education days at the coast, attended events such as our creative Bog Banquet and I am currently supporting an ongoing monitoring plan on one of our forests to bog sites, which has involved installing dip wells, hosting a bioblitz recording day and undertaking vegetation surveys, including identifying species of Sphagnum moss.
What are you looking forward to about your role?
From my first few weeks at the Crichton Carbon Centre, I have learnt a great deal about the importance of peatlands and their role in protecting biodiversity, improving water quality and their role in addressing climate change. So, I am most looking forward to working with these invaluable habitats, learning all the different restoration techniques, and being involved in designing the projects. Additionally, I am looking forward to being involved in the range of work CCC carry out, such as hosting events, running education days and in helping to develop any new future projects.
We're so excited to welcome Phoebe to the team; she is already well stuck in with several projects and settling in really well!