Wednesday 30 October 2019
Partner Interview: Katie, BBOWT
On behalf of our delivery partners BBOWT, Katie Horgan will be leading on the delivery of practical works and community engagement under the Rough Around the Edges project.
What motivated you to work with BBOWT?
To be honest, I was looking for work in the environment sector, so interviewed with a few different organisations before BBOWT. I’ve previously worked for a local authority and for the Forestry Commission in similar kinds of roles, so had an idea of the kind of working environment I work well in, and had a good feeling about the team at the Rough Around the Edges interview. I find the ethos at BBOWT really inspiring, with colleagues who are passionate about their jobs and the wildlife they are working for. It also means that I have a group of really experienced, knowledgeable professionals around me who are able to support me in this new role.
What is the best thing about your job?
I should probably say the wildlife but actually it’s the people. I really enjoy the interactions I have with such a wide range of different community groups that are all enthused to work for their local wildlife.
Why do you think partnerships are so important in conserving the Chilterns?
I think partnerships are important across the board – they are essential for representing different approaches and viewpoints. This is especially important in a landscape such as the Chilterns that is under so many pressures from the people who live and work here. Being able to find a balance that is good for people and wildlife is only possible if we share expertise from the many different organisations working in the Chilterns.
What are the goals of the project ‘Rough Around the Edges’?
Rough Around the Edges is focussed on working with community groups to develop wildlife friendly spaces on small, local sites in the Central Chilterns. The projects we support have to have three key aspects:
• a strong ecological focus
• support and involve local volunteers
• can continue into the future
How can people get involved in this project? And why should they?
The easiest way to get involved is to contact me! If anyone has a patch that they feel is forgotten or could be a haven for wildlife, and it’s a space that can be looked after by the community, maybe Rough Around the Edges can help. This is a great opportunity to both care for your local wildlife and to get involved in community volunteering.
What does the Chilterns AONB mean to you?
I’m new to the area so am just learning about the role and importance of the AONB. Certainly AONBs are important for preserving the character of specific landscapes and it’s easy to see why the rare chalk habitats and the cultural heritage of the region are so special. Maybe you can ask me in a year – to see how much I’ve learned about the AONB!
Learn more about BBOWT on their website.