Farewell to Loch of the Lowes

Unfortunately, it’s coming to the end of my time as a Seasonal Visitor Centre Assistant at Loch of the Lowes. Since April, I have had a wonderful time working with the team and I am sure to miss it for a very long time (possibly forever?). I moved up to Scotland from the West Midlands, following graduating with a degree in Zoology last year. I studied approximately 600 miles from here, near Falmouth in Cornwall at the University of Exeter, and I have to say that Loch of the Lowes is a little bit different from the Cornish beaches. I decided that I wanted to work with Scottish wildlife following my field trip to Scotland in my second year of study. We travelled around Scotland, from Glasgow to Abernethy to Durness to Handa, giving me an awesome introduction to the Scottish wilderness, with the highlight being, of course,  watching an osprey dive for fish during my time in Abernethy. I was therefore incredibly excited to start work at Loch of the Lowes, and it did not disappoint!

Osprey season was an amazing time to work here. Hearing stories from the past 49 years of ospreys at Lowes (I’m sad I won’t be here for the 50th!), is a testament to how much the community cares about these birds. I wasn’t prepared for how fast the chicks grow, or how attached you become to their different personalities, though I have to say it wasn’t all sad when PT0 left from migration, she was a very noisy bird! I’m sure to be tuning in to the webcam next year to see how the ospreys get on.

One of my favourite parts of the job has been writing the osprey updates and blogs. I have learnt a great deal through the research that went into them, and I have appreciated having the freedom to write about what I am interested in. Thanks for putting up with my puns, it’s been one of the many skills sets that I’ve been able to develop in this job, and one I will keep forever.

The other best part of the role, which goes without saying, is being surrounded by wildlife. My favourite animal to watch at Lowes has been the red squirrels; they have so much personality and it’s lovely to see visitors get excited about seeing one for the first time (or the 100th time). Seeing this enjoyment is a constant reminder of the importance of protecting our wildlife and keeping people engaged, which makes me proud to have worked for the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

During my time here, I have enjoyed working with the volunteers at Lowes. I have never met a group as welcoming and passionate as they are, and I will always admire their dedication to the Scottish Wildlife Trust; their help keeps all the cogs turning and it is really appreciated. To all the volunteers: thank you for imparting your wisdom and bringing your smiles, it was all gratefully received by someone who was new to Lowes and the area.

Having enjoyed this role so much, I’m on the lookout for similar jobs, but this time a little closer to home. From presenting at Beaver Watch to cleaning the bird feeders, this role has been very varied and has equipped me with a whole new set of skills that I will take with me onto the next job. Finally, I want to say thank you to the staff at Lowes. It’s been a privilege to have been part of team that is like-minded, caring and positive, and it has helped me to grow and learn what I want from future jobs. They will be a tough act to follow, just like Lowes itself, and I will always be grateful for this fantastic start to my career working with wildlife.

Thanks for reading,

Olivia Cooper

Visitor Centre Assistant

Preface

Unfortunately, it’s coming to the end of my time as a Seasonal Visitor Centre Assistant at Loch of the Lowes. Since April, I have had a wonderful time working with …

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