In this blog post Sarah I'Anson, who works in field operations in Yorkshire, explains why she loves her job and encourages people with a passion for the environment to apply for one of the jobs the Environment Agency currently has available.
Love of the environment
Growing up I spent a lot of time on and around rivers in Yorkshire as a result of having a keen interest in boating and fishing.
Twelve years ago, I was browsing through the local paper and saw that the Environment Agency was looking for Diversity Trainees to join one of their Field Operation Teams on a placement basis.
River maintenance was stated as being a key part of the role and this really appealed to me.
My placement lasted 12 months and during this time I was trained to use hand tools and plant machinery, including tractors, excavators and chainsaws.
Following my placement, I was successful in getting a team member role on the Derwent & Esk Field Operations Team and subsequently a lead team member role.
These roles have required varied and challenging tasks such as completing tree works, weed cutting, grass cutting, bank repairs, general maintenance of all the structures connected to the river systems, participating in an on-call rota for the Foss Barrier which is an important flood asset protecting York and providing incident response in the event of flooding.
The main objectives of my current role are to support our field operation team, ensure we are following health and safety procedures in order to minimise the risk to ourselves and others and drive operational efficiencies by generating new ideas and identifying new ways of working.
Being a good communicator is key to the role, whether it’s showing a team member how to correctly log a defect on their iPad or it’s asking for permission from a member of the public who owns the land next to the flood bank we need to cut.
Earlier this year I set up a partnership with Flamingo Land, a zoo in Yorkshire. I reached out to them with a proposal that we could deliver tree waste to their zoo which could be used as food for their animals.
This was an environmentally friendly alternative to disposing of the wood by chipping, burning or sending it to land fill. Flamingo Land loved the idea and we are now regularly dropping the waste at the zoo for the animals. This partnership has resulted in cost efficiencies, enabled us to work with a local business, and most importantly it’s better for our environment!
If you are team player who likes working with and leading a team; if you can effectively communicate with a variety of people; and you are keen on driving change, apply for a job with us as a River Maintenance and Emergency Response Specialist (Team Member 3) or a River Maintenance and Emergency Response Supervisor (Lead Team Member 2)