Sophie is an environmental conservationist and countryside ranger, follow her on Instagram here.
05:30am: Every day I wake up at 05:30, it’s a quick rush out of the door and into the car to face my long and dark commute to work. As someone who is passionate about the environment around us my daily commute is something that I would really like to change.
07:01am: I arrive at work at 07:00, turn on the computer and catch up on emails. A significant part of my job as a ranger includes administration, report writing, emails and health and safety so there is always lots to be done in the office.
09:28am: On three days of the week I meet teams of volunteers who help with the practical habitat management on the estate. This can include anything from scrub clearing on the heathland to building benches. Today is one of those rare days that I have to myself so I am checking out the estate after stormy weather, looking for any trees that may have fallen blocking footpaths and bridleways. I love this aspect of my job; the solitude and opportunity to spend time looking and learning more about the hidden corners of the area of land I look after.
11:39am: It has rained all day today, but I am still outside. I have a feeling this winter cold is going to come back with a vengeance. I spent some time admiring this magnificent beech tree in the misty murk.
12:30am: I am now on an area of restored heathland. We, my dog and I, have just stopped for lunch in the rain after noting that a large pine has fallen across one of the fence lines- a job for another day.
1:06pm: I am still out on the estate, in the rain. This fragrant and bright gorse flower has brought a smile to my face.
2:47pm Back in the office to organise some wildlife monitoring events. I am looking for a team of volunteers to help me with our annual Toad Patrol. Toads migrate back to the same water body each spring to mate. At one of our ponds this involves crossing a minor road, so when the weather conditions are right we help the toads to cross the roads without being killed by the road traffic. The common toad in the UK is believed to be declining rapidly, so the data we collect goes into a national database to monitor toad numbers. This is a photo from last year’s patrol, I didn’t want to bore you with yet another picture of my desk!
4:06pm: Home time. This is the view from my office, it’s pretty special!
5:24pm: As well as working full time, I am also a part time Masters student with the University of Edinburgh, I am studying ‘Wildlife, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health’. I have just started a module in Wildlife Crime and Forensics so I open the books when I get home and start reading.
7:43pm: After dinner, when I am full and tired, I sit down and rest. I’ve been trying to spend more time reading for pleasure and have just started this book. As someone who is obsessed by the power and importance of nature, I love it.