A Day in the Life of Jackie, Environmental Coordinator
We caught up with team member Jackie to find out about her exciting role as Environmental Coordinator with Argyll Holidays.
How long have you been part of the Argyll Holidays team?
I have been part of the Argyll Holidays Team for 17 years now. I initially started working freelance in 2004, having been asked if I would coordinate the company’s participation in the David Bellamy Conservation Award with three parks entering in the first year. Each of the parks was awarded the highest accolade of Gold the following year, a start to an amazing achievement of all parks in the group achieving the same status. At the time, amongst other small projects, I was working with Forest Education Initiative delivering an environmental project called ‘Trees Past and Present’ into 25 schools in Argyll and Bute and delivering the John Muir Award and Forest School as part of the curriculum for excellence. Being asked to work with the Argyll Holidays Team on such a prestigious award seemed a very natural move to me - a move I have never regretted. In 2008, I became a permanent member of the Argyll Holidays family.
A typical day in your role
Firstly, can I say, I have never had a typical day working for Argyll Holidays. Every day is different and while I do have an ongoing schedule of works, my days are extremely varied. If I was to choose a typical day it would be an 8am start at my desk checking my emails, a tree of concern has popped up so, by 8.30am I’m donning my wellies and off I go for a park visit. If the tree needs work, I’ll generally check for wildlife, nesting birds or protected species at this point then, either organise works to be done or, if the tree is protected, head back to my desk to carry out the necessary paperwork. In the afternoon I could be at planning meetings, drawing up plans or planting schemes, working with the marketing department, carrying out surveys or looking at other projects to enhance the sustainability and green ethos of the company. 4-5pm generally I will recap from the day and email updates to managers or directors and set out a loose plan for the following workday.
What do you love most about your role?
The simple answer would be everything. I feel privileged to work in one of the most amazing and diverse natural landscapes in Scotland and proud that the company I work for works extremely hard to maintain and enhance that very landscape and all the wildlife that depends on it. I work with an amazing team from directors and senior management to our team members on the ground, all of which contribute support and ideas so that I can carry out my role. For example, the grounds team on each park maintains the wildflower zones which resulted in us becoming a bee-friendly company. This is highlighted by another cog in the wheel – the marketing team, who keep the ‘green scene’ up to date on the website.
What Argyll Holidays moment will you always remember?
You would be forgiven for thinking my memorable moment would be witnessing some of the diverse range of wildlife of the parks daily, from pine marten to otter, or working on some of the many big environmental projects over the years. However, my memorable moment was many years ago when I attended a conference with one of the directors and met my all-time hero – Professor David Bellamy. A man who single-handedly influenced my whole outlook to the natural environment and whose award I am delighted to coordinate for Argyll Holidays.