January 2008-present; Floodplain Meadows Outreach Co-Ordinator (Floodplain Meadows Partnership), Open University, Milton Keynes
November 1997- December 2007; Fisheries, Recreation and Biodiversity Officer, Environment Agency, Blandford Forum, Dorset
My role is about engagement with people working or operating in the land management and conservation sector in the UK, with research focussed on the eco-hydrology of floodplain meadows undertaken by academics at the Open University. As the Outreach co-ordinator for the Floodplain Meadows Partnership, I am responsible for maintaining contacts throughout the sector with this project, developing initiatives that will encourage engagement, and assesing impact of our enagement and involvement on people and floodplain meadows across the UK.
We are funded by two environmental trusts - the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the John Ellerman Foundation, who between them cover staff costs. Our current focus is on restoration of floodplain meadows, trying to visit as many restoration sites as possible, taking botanical and soil samples and ultimately producing a map of restoration activity in the UK.
We have recently launched our technical handbook - Floodplain Meadows - Beauty and Utility. A Technical Handbook, which has been distributed to all our partner organsiations and is available as a free download, as well as to buy as a hard copy.
The Floodplain Meadows Partnership is a collaboration of major conservation organisations hosted and managed by the Open University. The organisations are Natural England, RSPB, Environment Agency, The Wildlife Trusts, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the National Trust, People Need Nature and the Field Studies Council. In addition, throughout the life of the project we have worked with many non academic partners, including commercial, charitable and the public sector in delivering our objectives on floodplain meadows.
We are currently working with a range of partners from as far away as Siberia, and across Northern Europe, to develop a European-wide floodplain meadow network.
In addition to teaching on Open University modules our academics are engaged in ground breaking research that benefits individuals and society.
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