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Creativity and conservation net £150 prize for REALM student

Posted 26 March 2015

We were delighted with the standard of posters produced by the students and sponsorship from Carter Jonas reinforced the message that knowledge of environmental issues is crucial for students planning a career in the land management sector.”

Joanna receives her prize from Andy Cherrill

A passion for conservation, creative flair and the generosity of industry sponsor Carter Jonas all contributed to student Joanna Blakely, 19, walking away from a lecture this week £150 better off. 

Joanna, a second-year rural enterprise and land management student from Southampton, was the winner of the REALM 2 Agriculture and the Environment poster competition.

“In her winning poster Joanna successfully outlined the key habitat requirements of the Great Crested Newt, explained the responsibilities of land managers, and detailed how survey and mitigation work could be undertaken to maintain the species population in favourable conservation status whilst allowing developments, such as housing, to proceed,” explained lecturer and module leader Dr Andy Cherrill.  

“Second and third placed students, Joe Powell and Theo Bennison, who received £75 and £25 prizes sponsored by Carter Jonas, focussed on water vole in wetlands and bats in buildings, illustrating the breadth of circumstances in which protected species may be encountered.”

The poster competition was developed after REALM course manager Simon Keeble was approached by Edmund Smith, Carter Jonas Associate Partner and Harper Adams alumnus (REALM 2008), at the CLA Game Fair last year, with a view to the agency sponsoring a module of study. Having reviewed a variety of available modules, Carter Jonas chose Agriculture and the Environment.

Andy Cherrill added: “The REALM degree course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and environmental sustainability is a key element of the professional competencies that RICS members must demonstrate in their training and professional practice. 

“The second year Agriculture and the Environment module is designed to provide students with the knowledge they need to effectively advise land owners, managers and farmers on their responsibilities and the benefits of considering the environment and biodiversity in their decision-making.

“We were delighted with the standard of posters produced by the students and sponsorship from Carter Jonas reinforced the message that knowledge of environmental issues is crucial for students planning a career in the land management sector.” 

Joanna said: “Great Crested Newts are one of the most prominent protected species and I know that in my career in land management I will come across cases of development where the issue of newts will arise. I felt therefore that basing my poster on this species would increase my knowledge of the topic and would benefit me in practise. 

“For my poster I wanted to think outside the box. I knew that the poster was designed to reach a specific audience I wanted it to be effective in doing so. I used an old-fashioned method of propaganda but twisted it to fit the agricultural audience. The drawing of the farmer on my poster was actually a sketch of a farmer I know! 

“I’ve always been a strong believer in being creative and different. Particularly in this career we are always looking for new and improved ways of doing things, but whilst keeping our traditional land management values. I feel that my poster winning should encourage others to consider looking at doing things from an individual perspective, creativity should never be suppressed!

For the third year of her degree, Joanna will undertake a work placement with chartered surveyors Smiths Gore, based in their Kent office, before returning for her fourth and final year at university. 

She said: “On placement, I'll be part of a strong, growing team that will help me achieve the first year of my Assessment of Professional Competence. Once I’ve finished at Harper Adams I hope to re-join Smiths Gore to finish my rural APC. I’d love to eventually be part of their valuation team in London.”

 

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