New leader for National Trust's JE-backed Education Programme

Erin main

Erin Cowham at the National Trust for Jersey's headquarters, The Elms

Erin Cowham has been appointed as the National Trust for Jersey’s new Senior Education Officer. She will lead the Trust’s Education Programme that is being funded by Jersey Electricity for the next three years to the end of 2022.

Erin quit a career in finance to follow her passion for nature and the environment. Having gained a BSc Natural Sciences (Environmental Sciences) First Class Degree with Honours through The Open University, she is currently completing her MSc in Island Conservation and Biodiversity with JICAS. She volunteers in Durrell’s herpetology department, and has been involved in the night-time agile frog and toad surveys for the Department of the Environment. She has also worked for ASVO, a conservation charity in Costa Rica, assisting with the maintenance, environmental monitoring and public relations of Tortuguero National Park.

She is used to working with children, having volunteered as a Youth Worker at Grands Vaux Youth Club. Her goal is to inspire children to help conserve nature and the environment and that is just what she will be doing in her new role.

Around 3,500 children a year engage with the Trust, which involves a wide range of activities that complement schools’ science curricula and encourage children to ‘reconnect with nature’. The focus of the new programme will be on biodiversity loss, recognising the causes and impacts of its loss and how to prevent this.

Under the banner ‘We Have the Power’, the programme aims to raise awareness of the causes of climate change and the small and large scale carbon reduction steps needed to curb it. As well as conducting a series of school assemblies, the Trust and JE hope to make Le Moulin de Quétivel a learning centre for climate change education events once the current  lockdown measures are eased and the schools return. In the meantime, Erin will be working on virtual field trips and creating on-line resources for schools and families.

Charles and Chris planting

Trust CEO Charles Alluto (left) and JE CEO Chris Ambler have collaborated on many projects including the woodland restoration of Mourier Valley began in December 2019

Trust CEO Charles Alluto said: ‘Our Education Programme has been running for ten years and is an important part of the Trust’s varied work. Engaging young people in nature is vital for the future protection of our natural environment which is under threat more than ever. Our previous sponsorship of this programme had concluded and we are delighted that Jersey Electricity has come on board. The utility and its employees have supported the Trust on many initiatives, including, of course, our current woodland restoration of Mourier Valley and this year’s #LoveNature Festival.’

JE CEO Chris Ambler said: ‘I speak for colleagues at Jersey Electricity and customers when I say how pleased we are to have been able to support the Trust in making such a meaningful positive impact on Jersey’s natural environment with so many initiatives over the years.  As a Company, our own vision is to help inspire a zero-carbon future for Jersey and for that we need our children to be informed, engaged and passionate about protecting our wonderful Island and to play our part in the global fight on climate change and its impact on biodiversity.’