In introducing our new BSc Environmental Land Management degree, prospective students might be unsure of what to expect. However, Elise Sutton, a fourth year with a background in land management, has some valuable advice for those wanting to get ahead before joining us on campus.
Elise suggests the best way to prepare is, from her own experience, through volunteering and work experience. “Work experience really broadens your knowledge,” she said, “and it helped me to learn things that later came up in my studies. It also helps you to test whether you might want to go into consultancy, be a ranger or warden, so you can go in with a clearer idea of your future ambitions.”
Elise followed her own advice before starting, learning about conservation management before deciding to pursue her passion at Harper Adams. From a non-farming background, Elise worked at a variety of different placements to harness skills that have been vital to her degree.
From this, in her placement year, Elise worked for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at their Martin Mere Centre in Lancashire. There she worked on a new trial, dedicated to longhorn cattle and conserving wetland habitats. She is particularly inspired by the delicate ecosystem of wetlands and how, despite becoming almost extinct about sixty years ago, the longhorn cattle are beginning to thrive again in this area. Solving these ecological issues is something Elise would like to follow on with after graduation and make a difference to the species and environment.
Although Elise’s study varies somewhat from the new environmental land management degree, she is confident it will be beneficial for new students, commenting, “The environmental land management degree will see students steered away from conventional practical management and instead will look to the future, with a greater focus on sustainability. It’s beginning to hit home that we need to act in regards to climate change and the new degree will be a way for students to understand and be prepared as the next generation of environmental consultants.”