Introducing Our New Catchment Assistant
Hello, my name is Abbie Devaney and I am the new Catchment Assistant for the Calder Rivers Trust. I’ve recently graduated from the University of Leeds with a BSc (Hons) in Geography, part of which included working with the Calder Rivers Trust in a professional placement module. This placement involved working alongside Dr Andy Bray to identify issues and opportunities for improvements in the Lower Calder. My placement with the Trust really opened my eyes to the important work that is carried out and catalysed my interest in working for an environmental charity. Throughout my studies, I’ve been drawn to being involved in hands-on activities that support improvements to our local environments and ecosystems.
My role at the trust involves working with the Catchment Development Manager and the Farmer & Rural Liaison Officer to support their projects across the catchment. This includes conducting various surveys to identify issues and opportunities for improvement and supporting volunteering efforts. Within my first month in post, I’ve already learned many invaluable skills and met some fascinating and like-minded people. I’ve recently completed my first training course in Northumberland, focusing on improving our farm pinpoint surveys up in the North East, which has boosted my confidence in conducting these surveys and liaising with farmers and landowners independently. It was very interesting to speak to people from different rivers trusts, see how they operate, and all learn from each other. I am also starting to get more involved with the River Health Project, in which I will be supporting volunteers and hopefully getting my waders on to help with the sampling too!
I’m thrilled to be on board and excited to help support the Trust’s projects while broadening my knowledge, meeting new people, and continuing my professional development in a sector I am incredibly passionate about.