A very brief introduction to Countryside Stewardship schemes and why we support them ...
Looking at Countryside Stewardship schemes and why they're good for the river, wildlife and for farm businesses
We recently bade a fond farewell to our Head of Conservation, Alasdair Brock as he retires and welcomed two new members to the Conservation team.
Alasdair first joined the Trust in its early days back in 1997 and was pivotal in establishing our ground-breaking programme of conservation work, initially in the Leith and Lyvennet sub-catchments, as well as fundraising and running the education programme – all from his spare bedroom!
Although his career took him to pastures new in the intervening years, we were delighted to welcome him back into the fold as Head of Conservation in 2018.
Elizabeth Radford, CEO said:
I would like to thank Alasdair for sharing his energy, knowledge and support over the years – helping to make Eden’s rivers better places for people and wildlife. During his time with us, he has been instrumental in developing the skills of the Eden Rivers Trust team, ensuring the quality of our conservation work continues to go from strength to strength.
He has worked tirelessly to explore opportunities to develop innovative new projects with a range of partners, always showing an unwavering commitment to realising a better environment for Cumbria/Cumbrians and always bringing his trademark good humour to our discussions. We’re sure that his passion for rivers and nature will remain undimmed during his ‘retirement’; volunteering opportunities are always available!
A new chapter now begins with two new members of staff joining our team.
Michael Rogers joins the Trust’s senior management team as Head of Conservation and Megan Cox as Farming and Conservation Officer.
Michael joins the Trust from Bumblebee Conservation Trust where he was working on Species on the Edge, a project to save the Great Yellow Bumblebee in the Outer Hebrides and North Coast of Scotland.
Previously, Michael had spent 12 years at the Wildlife Trusts in County Durham and Yorkshire where he managed a suite of urban river restoration projects and Pennine-fringe nature reserves including the iconic Hannah’s Meadow Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Before leaving the Wildlife Trust’s Michael managed Potteric Carr Visitor Experience, one of the most iconic wetland bird reserves in Yorkshire and oversaw the Humberhead Levels and Dearne Valley Nature Improvement Areas (NIA); two of only twelve such NIAs in the UK.
Born and bred in Cumbria, Michael is returning to his roots and following in his family tradition of working in Eden – his grandfather was Forest Nursery Manager for Lowther Estates (1958-1970) and his maternal family still farm in and around Brough today.
Megan grew up on a small Derbyshire sheep farm which inspired her to undertake a BSc in Environmental Conservation at Writtle College in 2005. This led to an MSc in Countryside Management at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Megan’s early career saw her widen her horizons:
I then went WWOOFing (World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in South America for a year learning about tropical farming and conservation.
I returned to the UK to work with the Moors for the Future Partnership in Edale on landscape-scale peatland restoration in the uplands, then went to work as a Principal Investigator of a forest research programme in Cambodia, leading 10-week expeditions into the jungle.
On her return, Megan began working for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Bangor, surveying farms in agri-environmental schemes. She has now returned to the conservation sector to a role that combines her agricultural knowledge and expertise with her passion for conservation.
If you live in the Lowther, Leith or Petteril catchments you may meet Megan soon as she begins her farm advisory visits as Covid restrictions lift.