I had taken a course with two people who, by the following year of the course, started working for Arbtech. In the meantime, I freelanced for the company doing bat surveys on top of my regular job and heard all about the company from their point of view and with encouraging input from them about the role.
So, when offered a position at the company, I happily took it.
The trust to get on with the work at hand and manage my own time.
I’ve been in jobs in the past with high levels of micromanaging. Not only does that put stress on the workers having someone breathing down their neck, but also on managers who are under that pressure to micromanage on top of their own job.
The staff are incredibly helpful and encouraging, from everyone at Arbtech HQ to the ecological and arboricultural surveyors in various parts of the country. Even though we don’t all work in an office together, we still have that sense of a happy workplace. In addition, every effort is put in place to ensure the well-being of the staff.
I’m usually out in the field from dawn to dusk tracking down wildlife to photograph, though nine times out of ten, this ends up resulting solely in bird photography. I like photographing most wildlife, but it’s not as easy coming across reptiles and amphibians compared to birds. People think it’s crazy getting up that early on a weekend, but the best wildlife is always spotted around dawn.
On more miserable days, I may be inside playing games or working on my creative skills of sewing and painting.
You will find when you leave university that, despite the good grades, you get so many employers who want you to already have experience. It’s best to get this in as early as possible. I found residential volunteering in a variety of roles helpful, though you have to be very good at money management, as I did many roles unpaid. It was, however, worthwhile, as it helped me work out where I wanted to go in life.
Unfortunately, I am yet to go on one, but I’m sure that will change soon and I am excited to get involved.
I’m not a big travel person, but I’m hoping to visit Skomer Island for some puffin photography this year. I just need to buy a tent first so I can camp right nearby on the mainland.
I haven’t been abroad in over a decade, but only because it is not something I’m interested in and I believe the UK has so much to offer.
Hopefully where I am now, but far more experienced and confident in myself. I’ve spent the last ten years bouncing around the place in different jobs, different locations and seasonal positions, so a lot of to and from, and never staying in one place for long. In fact, after moving to Dorset in 2022, it was the first time I spent at least one full year in the same location since leaving university.
Thinking long-term, it would be nice to stay settled for a while at last.
Though I’d like to be able to buy my own place somewhere quiet and remote, living in an expensive part of the country makes it difficult to believe that it will happen any time soon. I’d still like to set it as a goal though. I wouldn’t want anywhere big. I’m thinking of a tiny cottage situated somewhere small with a nice garden attached.
I would also like to achieve several species licences and maybe help the local reserves with surveying in my spare time. It is also a goal of mine to try bird ringing, despite the unsocial hours doing so. Dorset is a key area for this and there are certainly lots of protected species in this part of the country. I’d love to try and track down and photograph species I won’t see in this part of the country, those either in the north or in Scotland.
Annabel joined Arbtech in September 2022.
Meet the other members of our leading ecology and arboriculture team.