Harriet Bennett

Student spotlight details

Harriet was taking a break from her career when she enrolled on our part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Ecological Surveying Techniques to help bring her back up to speed with the latest techniques in ecological surveying.

'Before enrolling on the Postgraduate Certificate in Ecological Surveying Techniques, I'd been in the middle of taking a career break to look after my young children and elderly parents and to run an Airbnb. However, I'd wanted to get back "into the know" about ecological issues and mix with people who were the experts in their field. So it made sense to go for a one-year, part-time course in ecological surveying.

'The extended project takes a lot of time management when you are on a course part-time. At times it required my full attention, and getting it finished for September was quite a strain. But, it was absolutely wonderful doing the dawn bird surveys - I saw Buckinghamshire in a completely new light!

'Visiting Wytham Woods and getting a first-hand and hands-on introduction to the research that is going on there was one of the most rewarding aspects of the course. It was fascinating to learn more about the complexity of the badger work and to see bats up close.

'Having finished the course, I am now currently working for the Chilterns Conservation Board, which is in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) authority. In my role as Land Management Officer I am enthusing and supporting land managers to create more wildlife sites that are better connected and better managed in the central Chilterns area. The project is called Chalk, Cherries and Chairs and is financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

'To anyone considering this course, the people I met both on the teaching and student side were a true inspiration. If you want to get a chance to explore ecology and learn some fascinating things about the natural world, this is a fabulous course. It’s also very good preparation for professional life in the field of ecological surveying.'

Learn more: