Get to know me – DCRT’S new Young Person’s Conservation Assistant

In this blog we hear from DCRT’s newest member of staff, Beckie Fulton, who has just started her role as Young Person’s Conservation Assistant as part of the Kickstart Scheme, in partnership with the Coalfield’s Regeneration Trust.

Every day, since I was a young girl, I’d think about our planet. All the amazing and beautiful things it has to offer. I’m constantly in awe of the power of the Earth’s processes, in particular, volcanic or geological events.

I was first introduced to thinking about geological hazards and the natural world from a young age, through watching documentaries at home, taking walks through our local countryside and lessons at school. However, my passion wasn’t truly ignited until my grandparents took me on holiday to Naples, Italy, where we climbed Mt Vesuvius and explored Pompeii. Since then I have been hooked!

Living with beautiful places like this reservoir right on my doorstep for exploring, has fuelled my love for the natural world.

So… who am I?

Well, my name is Beckie and I have just joined DCRT as the Young Person’s Conservation Assistant. I graduated from Lancaster University last September with a Master’s in Volcanology and Geological Hazards. Since graduating I have been itching to get into my first environmental job. But due to COVID-19 and my very specialist line of study, finding a job I love has been difficult to say the least.

Through my academic career so far, I have specialised in volcanology and geological hazards and have only briefly covered other environmental issues. One of my favourite memories from my time at university was being able to live for 2 months in Sicily to study Mt Etna and one day I even hiked right up to the crater edge. I have to admit that is probably one of the best days of my life so far!

Standing on the craters edge of Mt Etna – what an amazing view!

So although I have very limited experience in environmental management and conservation, my passion for everything environmental led me to applying to DCRT as part of the governments new Kickstart scheme. This scheme focuses on getting 16-24 year olds into a working environment where they can gain invaluable knowledge and experience which will ensure a long and successful career. I am eager to use this opportunity at DCRT to expand my knowledge and build a career in environmental management and conservation.

So why did I apply to DCRT?

I once came across a quote by Robert Swan who said “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” This has stuck with me ever since, as I believe it to be true. I have talked with many people from different backgrounds and it scares me how little they actually know or care about the natural world. More often than not they have the impression that it is the job of scientists to fix all the damage humanity has caused.

Since I came to this realisation, it has given me the drive to educate people about our natural world. Ignite in them the same passion I have. To get people involved in protecting their local environment, conserving it, fall in love with it.

This is why I applied to work with DCRT, as it is clear that one of their main goals is to reconnect communities with the local river environments and educate people on how to protect them. This is what I am looking forward to most in my new role. Because no matter how small the action may seem, when we all work together we can make a difference.

I am really looking forward to working with everyone here at DCRT over the next 6 months and meeting new people on our volunteer days.

My first Volunteer Day with DCRT