When Amy Shepherd left school, she wasn’t sure what career she wanted to pursue. This changed at the age of 22 when she went on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Canada where she worked in the Rockies and realised that she wanted to work in the outdoors within forestry.
Now a BSc (Hons) Countryside and Environmental Management student at Harper Adams University, Amy, 28, has been awarded a Millichope Scholarship and the Development Trust (DT) Chairman’s Discretionary Award, which will support her in taking a voluntary position with Wyre Community Land Trust for her placement year.
The scholar, from Telford, Shropshire, said: “Having grown up in Shropshire, I’ve been brought up in an environment surrounded by rural beauty, however, my daily working routine left me craving for a life in the outdoors.
Amy has been awarded the Millichope Scholarship and the DT Chairman’s Discretionary Award, which will help her undertake a voluntary placement year at Wyre Community Land Trust in Shropshire.
On receiving the awards, Amy added: “I’ll be working as a forester as they have an oak woodland there. I’ll be helping with the thinning and management processes, alongside doing management plans as well.
“During my time on placement, I’ll be staying in a caravan that they have onsite in the middle of the woods. It might sound remote, but it’s not as isolated as what I got used to while in Canada where I didn’t even have a car.
“The scholarship I’ve received means a lot to me, as returning to university was a big investment, especially being a mature student. It’s given me reassurance that I definitely made the right decision.
“The money will make a huge difference to me over my placement year, not only through support for the year, but the chance to attend training and conferences to enhance my knowledge and skills.
“These opportunities made available by Renée and the DT team are truly life changing and I appreciate all their efforts in making these possible.”