My name is Eve Taylor and I am a trainee on the Wild Stockport project with Cheshire Wildlife Trust. I found my love for wildlife and conservation at a young age and decided to dedicate my education to learning more about the natural world. I studied Animal Management at Reaseheath College then Wildlife Conservation at Liverpool John Moores University. From this, I became a Mossland Intern with Lancashire Wildlife Trust, where I fell in love with practical conservation and sphagnum. When the pandemic hit, I decided I wanted a change and moved down to Devon to train in becoming a countryside ranger. I really enjoy the physical challenges of working outside in all elements, however, the distance from home and my loved ones became the biggest challenge. This is when I saw the advertisement for 'WILD STOCKPORT'.
Our trainees: Eve's story
Why did you apply?
Being from Stockport, and raised with the opinion that Stockport is a less than desirable place to live, I saw this as my opportunity to turn the tables on that narrative and help make it a place full of nature. I already knew Stockport as a proud place, with tight-knit communities that want to make a difference, they just sometimes don't know how or don't have the resources to make the change. I thought I could bring some local knowledge to the project, all while working for an organisation that I really cared for and saw a future with. It felt like a sign for me to move back home and put all my passion and enthusiasm into a project that really resonated with me while being able to remain close to my family and friends that I had moved away from during the unpredictable time of lockdowns.
What you have enjoyed?
My previous job roles have always been based around practical land management, with only the occasional volunteer day, once or twice a week. With this job being primarily focused on community engagement, I knew it was going to be a big change for me. I love it. One of the most rewarding of working on the Wild Stockport project has been getting to know all of the residents and communities around Stockport. We have made some fantastic connections this year, with people and organisations who I might never have had the chance of getting to know. As I have said, I am a Stockport local, and seeing our efforts everyday in the town I call home is something that will never get old. Watching people notice the pollinator murals for the first time and engage with the colourful information boards which display my own artwork, makes me unbelievably proud. This project has really given me the opportunity to explore my own creativity and helped me overcome any fears I had regarding interacting with people I don't know.
What lessons have you learned?
One year is not enough for a project like this. It takes a year to build relationships and become known in the borough, then another year or two to make some really meaningful changes. I also learnt that you need to get creative if you want to engage a wider audience in nature conservation, not everyone has grown up with a passion for wildlife like I have.
What are your hopes for the future?
I would love to carry on the Wild Stockport project as we have many more ideas to connect people to nature and bring wildlife back into urban areas. My ideal role would be an Urban Rewilding Officer, working alongside communities and businesses to support them in taking action for wildlife in their town.