Tales from the Trainees: Introducing Cormac

A blog from Cormac Adlard, who joins Abi Mustard to complete our Trainee Reserve Officer team for 2018/19!

Hi everyone, I’m Cormac and I’m one of the TROs for the next year!

Cormac (L) with Claire and Matt, last years trainees, at Birdfair (Credit: Eric Renno)

Born and raised in a little corner of North East Lincolnshire, not far from the popular Donna Nook Nature Reserve. Growing up on a 400 acre mixed farm enrolled in the higher level environmental stewardship scheme, a passion and respect for the natural world was instilled in me from a young age. Adding to this a mother who is a keen botanist, a career in the conservation sector beckoned.

After completing my A-Levels I chose to travel as far from home as possible and study Environmental Biosciences at Aberystwyth University. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Wales and took part in as many difference activities as my time would allow. In my final year I was lucky enough to spend 3 weeks helping carry out research in various fields deep in the Bornean rainforest in the Sabah region. During this time I encountered the two faces of Borneo; the vast monoculture of the Palm Oil Plantations but also the immense biodiversity of the rainforest, which included seeing orang-utans in the wild. This experience only strengthened my desire to pursue a career closely tied to the environment and ensuring it’s preserved for future generations.

Releasing a mallard after bird ringing (duck trap can be seen in the background)

In my year after graduation I spent a short period of time working with a Miscanthus breeding programme at Aberystwyth University. Following this I decided it was time I took a step toward being a reserve officer/warden and planned to look for a traineeship with varied experiences, plenty of qualifications, an ecologically interesting site and great staff.  I didn’t expect to find somewhere which ticked all those boxes so quickly, but before I knew it I was getting my hands dirty dragging willow around Heron Bay! My time at Rutland Water has been brilliant so far, I can’t wait to work more with the staff and volunteers, and see what the next year has in store!

Preparing for the new Shallow Water Hide in Manton Bay (Credit: Joe Davis)