MASTERING A CAREER IN ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
Last summer Annabel Foskett made the bold decision to end a long-term contract with a client and go back to her studies. The 37-year-old environmental education consultant from North London enrolled to study for a Masters in Environmental Management, and since then has not looked back.
It is with a view to her own longer-term career that Annabel decided to undertake the degree and broaden her skills in the environmental management and conservation industry. Her interest and ambition has led to a sought-after scholarship and landed her as the Women and Work Environmental Conservation joint-winner of the year.
Annabel said, “I’d been told about Lantra’s Women and Work award and applied for it. It was great getting the grant because it has not only helped fund a small part of my degree but it also gave me great encouragement in actually going back to study.”
Annabel’s enthusiasm for her environmental work also netted further success when she was recently selected from more than 11,000 applicants for the Vodafone World Difference scholarship. The funding, which went to 500 people, has afforded Annabel a two-month conservation work placement.
“I want to extend my knowledge of environmental management work and not just specialise in the education side of conservation work,” she says. It’s in part thanks to her now 13-year-old son Leonardo, that Annabel’s conservation career ever got off the ground.
Having gained an NVQ level 2 in Amenity Horticulture Garden Design eight years ago Annabel started to help out at her son’s primary school on ad hoc nature projects.
“As it does, one thing led to another and I started to work with the children on energy conservation and habitat projects,” she says, “it’s been non-stop since then.”
For the last five years Annabel has been working as a self-employed environment educational consultant with clients including Barnet Countryside Centre, Veolia Water Educational Services and primary schools.
Beside her consultancy work Annabel volunteers as an Eco Schools, Green Flag School assessor, is a school governor, a London in Bloom, school grounds judge, a fundraiser and charity worker for Community Development in Africa, an RSPB youth and education volunteer and a founder and chair of the Friends of Cromer Road School.
“Once I’ve completed my degree I want my work to have a strong community
focus and for it to show a direct benefit to people and the environment around them,” she says. “After making my decision last summer it was a huge benefit to me getting both the Lantra award and then the Vodafone scholarship. They’ve opened up new and exciting opportunities.”
Lyndsay Bird, Lantra Women and Work Programme Manager said, “Annabel has really taken on the spirit of this programme. It is very inspiring to see the heights that her career has already taken, and no doubt this is just the beginning for her.”
Lantra Sector Skills Council is supporting Adult Learners' Week, as individuals like Annabel make brave choices to increase their skills throughout their lives.
The week-long national campaign from Monday 14 May to Friday 20 May, encourages thousands of adults whatever their age or background to give learning a go - either to catch up with new skills, or to learn for fun.
The annual event promotes education and training for adults as well as providing access to information and guidance to help motivate more adults to participate in learning opportunities.
For more information on careers in land-based industries visit www.lantra.co.uk/careers
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