I have extensive experience of people engagement, including events, membership recruitment, providing wildlife/conservation advice, and high levels of customer service. Much of this experience has been accumulated through voluntary work and through a Heritage Lottery funded traineeship with the RSPB. This traineeship was in Visitor Services and involved training and full time job experience of all aspects of visitor engagement, based at RSPB Pulborough Brooks in West Sussex. Also included were two external work placements, which I undertook with Interpretation, Events and Visitor Services teams at Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, and with Interpretation department at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. ‘Portfolio of Evidence’ for traineeship (including projects and references from work placements) available on request.
Voluntary roles have included RSPB Date with Nature Chichester Peregrines Project, (connecting members of the public of all ages and abilities with nature and work of RSBp, plus membership recruitment), and Ornithology Internship with Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, (connecting with and engaging a specific audience, with the work of Wildlife Trust, to generate support).
Practical Land Management
I have gained a wide range of experience through voluntary roles with a number of different organisations.
These include National Trust, Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, South Downs Joint Committee (no longer in operation), South downs National Park Authority, Sussex Wildlife Trust, and RSPB.
Areas of work include: habitat management (inc. woodland, heathland, wetland, downland/grassland), rights of way maintenance, livestock handling (inc. sheep, cattle, horses), youth work, events & membership recruitment, surveying (e.g. butterfly transects), interpretation & visitor engagement.
Environmental Campaign Work
During the period June 2007 to February 2010 I was involved as a supported of the South Downs Campaign and its sister, the Campaign to Include the Western Weald.
This was a long running and successful campaign to achieve National Park status for the South Downs, and oppose proposed boundary changes.
My activities included; attending walks and photo-calls, writing letters to local MPs and newspapers, being interviewed for BBC News, collecting petition signatures.
I was invited as a guest speaker, at request of campaign chairman Robin Crane CBE, to the campaign’s Final Conference at the Minerva Theatre (Chichester Festival Theatre, West Sussex)
All images & content, Copyright Sophie-May Lewis