A Day in the Life of an Environmental Consultant – June 2017

The dry conditions over the spring meant that it was not expected to be a bumper year for lapwing figures on the North Kent Marshes
but I am delighted to say that numbers of fledged birds have doubled on the farms I survey.
While not every farm saw success, then those that managed to hold water on the land into late May and June and have kept the vegetation short have seen a turnaround in their figures. The results show, that following the correct management regime, coupled with predator control can really make a difference.
lapwing chick at Keith StuddsHighlights for me were finding 13 fledged chicks, a flock of black tailed godwit and a spoonbill on one site early in the morning and having to return for an unheard of 5th visit to another site as more birds still seem to be born there every day.

Also this month I have worked on behalf of Natural England who are undertaking survey work as part of the preparations for the England Coastal Path. While I am in favour of raising awareness of the beauty and importance of our countryside I have concerns about increased access in sites where previously wildlife has been undisturbed.
So far it seems that the path is set to avoid particularly sensitive bird nesting areas in North Kent and I have been delighted to be undertaking marsh harrier surveys on Sheppey. Sitting on a hill for hours watching marsh harriers drift across the landscape and interact is so therapeutic it should be offered on the NHS as a remedy for stress.
The surveys, which are looking to identify nesting sites, will help inform the route of the path around this section of coastline.

At the end of the month I joined Natural England staff again for a training session onNE training course ditch surveys and wetland plant i.d. I have been undertaking ditch surveys for the River Stour IDB for 7 years so it was interesting to see how another organisation carries out the work and a useful refresher on plant i.d. before I go out to survey ditches next month.


4 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of an Environmental Consultant – June 2017

  1. Hello.

    Following a prolonged period of stress/anxiety I found that birdwatching was in deed very therapeutic. So much so I felt that as i always felt better after visiting Rainham Marshes I should give reciprocate the help it gave me by becoming a volunteer. This I done for a number of years.

    So I totally agree with your view that nature watching should be prescribed on the NHS as a way of helping people get better and recover from many ailments.

    30 minutes sitting in a garden, park, nature reserve or a wood watching nature is in my view, far more beneficial than any tablets I have had.



  2. I was lucky enough to run a volunteer conservation group for six years and firmly believe that working as a team outdoors and doing something of practical use for the world is the best therapy there is for all manner of ills. Hope your work at Rainham Marshes was fulfilling.

    • It was good as I met so many nice people when I was walking the reserve. Made a few friend with other volunteers but it was a bit clique and a few people moved onto other organisations because of it in my view. Now I run pin badge boxes for the rspb.

      Now I have had my knee replaced I’m keen to get out there in the wild and visit places I’ve not been to in a good while. I’ve never been to Sheppey for the raptors so that is on my list al9ng with a return to Cliffe and the marshes.

      Have you considered doing guided walks ? I’m sure with your knowledge it would be great to come to one if you did.



      • I ran guided walks for many years, for the RSPB and later with my own company. I enjoy doing them but unfortunately they don’t really pay. Sorry to hear Rainham Marshes was clique. I have heard this from other quarters, which is a real shame but can be an issue with volunteer groups.

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