Well hello there! Blogging is new territory for me (and I do feel a tad self-conscious) but it’s very nice to meet you all! I am Sarah, of “Tweets by Miles & Sarah” and I’m the Communications Officer for The Grasslands Trust. I’ve been here for just over a year now, I started out as an intern and I’m now working for the Trust part-time alongside studying for a Masters in Integrated Environmental Management.
I’ve always been interested in biodiversity and sort of stumbled upon the Trust after my undergraduate degree, originally wanting to volunteer to fill time while I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up. Since starting here I haven’t really looked back, I decided to pursue a career in environmental conservation which I get more passionate about every day, started on my Masters course and I suppose the Trust is now stuck with me!
My role is to find interesting topics in the media for us to respond to, put out press releases, what I like to call “schmoozing” journalists (or rather, being a pain in the behind), social media, keeping the website up-to-date, general publicity and communication stuff really. I basically try and think of ways to keep you interested in what we do-and before you ask, blogging wasn’t one of my suggestions for public engagement! But I’m having fun and I hope you’re still with me…
My “topic of interest” at the moment (which fits beautifully between my Masters and the work of the Trust) is the importance of ecosystem services-which although scientists and environmentalists have been discussing for many years, has only really become a popular term since the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2004. I don’t necessarily agree that the environment should need a monetary value to “quantify” its importance (and therefore need for conservation). However I do feel that successful, global-scale conservation of biodiversity requires an integrated approach and better understanding of how everything is linked together. I find it fascinating how everything from natural water purification, waste decomposition, pollination, and carbon sequestration, to the increasing issue of food insecurity, depends upon the health of the natural environment-which we often treat so carelessly. The importance of wildlife-rich grasslands as ecosystem services was explored in our first ever report, Nature’s Tapestry. I could probably rant about ecosystem services for ages but I’ll save that for another time because I don’t want to scare you off!
I hope that in upcoming months you’ll be seeing more media coverage of The Grasslands Trust’s work and that we’ll continue to raise the public profile of wildlife-rich grasslands. I’ll be checking in from time to time to keep you all up-to-date with our press releases and responses to hot topics in the media. But I’d love to hear from you if you’ve found a topic or media article you’d like our opinion on-so feel free to drop me a Tweet. Miles and I are currently working on a couple of interesting stories that you can get involved in, so stay tuned!