ANOTHER dream job has been filled at the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve.
Kat Mayer, 23, took up her post as project and education officer just under two weeks ago, but said it already feels like she is dreaming when she wakes up every day ready to take on the day’s challenges.
From Macclesfield, Miss Mayer comes to the role as a graduate of Reaseheath College, Aberystwyth University, and Manchester Metropolitan University.
She also has a wealth of volunteering experience behind her, including working for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the East Cheshire Barn Owl Group, and the British Trust for Ornithology.
All of this stands her in good stead for her new role.
“I’m loving it so far, the reserve is beautiful and I’ve already met with the Langholm cluster schools and talked about the education planned,” she said.
“They seem really keen and we’ve even looked at starting environmental education at the schools on 8 September which is pretty soon.
“I’ve always been interested in wildlife, I joined the Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers when I was eight, becoming a junior leader of the group and 14, and then an assistant leader, and I’ve loved all of it, and I want to inspire that love in others.”
Her school visits will see her utilise her knowledge of the reserve to provide talks and activities to encourage more youth awareness and involvement in the reserve.
It means her experience gained from scouting, forest schools, and her achievement of the Duke of Edinburgh award, will be vital.
She said there will be plenty of opportunities for youngsters to come and explore the Tarras Valley itself.
“I’d like a different school class to visit the reserve once a week, with every class having had at least one visit per term,” she said.
“This I’d like to extend to other schools in the long-run, plus colleges and universities, potentially looking at family groups.
“I’m still a registered leader of the Macclesfield Wildlife Explorers too and I’d love to get them to come up here on a residency and visit the reserve – I want as many people to visit as possible in order for them to appreciate its beauty.”
A range of activities will engage those who come, such as biological surveys, stream dipping, specific habitat and wildlife-related sessions – all linking with the curriculum.
Her role also looks at volunteer recruitment and coordination and community engagement events in town will test the water on who is interested in coming along and helping out, such as helping to remove the Sitka.
In terms of her downtime, Miss Mayer holds bird ringing certification, and she has said that now she lives in Langholm, she would like to find a group to keep it up as a hobby.
“I’m going to try and get involved in as much as possible,” she added.
“However, I’d love to get involved in a bird ringing group or bird ringers, I know there are some here, lots of my hobbies are related to what I do for my job, it couldn’t have been any more perfect for me.
“It’s my dream job and I wake up every day like I’m dreaming, it’ll be lots of hard work, but I feel very lucky.”
The reserve will see a further new starter for the digital skills post take up their role on Monday.