Lauren Dixon is a recent graduate and currently on secondment at SNH as a Peatland ACTION Project Officer. She tells us how her secondment looks to benefit SNH and Scottish Water.
This secondment opportunity arose as the Ugie Peatland Partnership was being established and it was realised that the collaboration between SNH and Scottish Water would be beneficial to both organisations. Scottish Water is placing more resources into peatland restoration in drinking water catchments. Peatland restoration has a multitude of benefits for water quality, as less organic material reaches the water treatment works (WTW).
Previously, at Scottish Water my role within the Sustainable Land Management Team involved processing and monitoring applications for the Drinking Water Protection Scheme (DWPS). The DWPS aims to improve source drinking water quality by providing capital items or pesticide substitution, specifically metaldehyde, in priority drinking water catchment areas. Other responsibilities included extracting and analysing water quality data for reporting and providing consultation responses for pesticide spraying applications.
My main role as a Peatland ACTION Project Officer at SNH involves developing partnerships with landowners across the whole of the North East Scotland in order to allow peatland surveys and ultimately peatland restoration. Other key responsibilities include monitoring project delivery and providing advice on peatland management to landowners.
As a recent graduate in Environmental Science, I share SNH’s values of promoting, caring for and improving our natural heritage. The opportunity to contribute to this ethos and work through my role here is one that I am glad to be a part of.
Being a young person in organisations like SNH and Scottish Water, means a vital knowledge exchange can occur between those who have worked within an organisation for many years, and there is opportunity to integrate fresh perspectives and ideas from young members of staff.
Already in my short time here at SNH, I have gained a vast amount of knowledge not only on the important work that Peatland ACTION is undertaking but some of the other functions of SNH through the people I meet. I hope to gain further understanding of the link between peatlands and how different restoration techniques can help improve water quality before it reaches treatment. I intend to use and share this knowledge when I return to Scottish Water after my secondment.
Find out more about peatland restoration and the Peatland ACTION project here.