St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Meet the team: Habitats Officer Nicola Ward

What is your role at St Nicks? 

I started working as the Habitats Officer in September 2021,within the wider Natural Habitats team. Funding from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, along with the creation of St Nicks Green Corridors Project meant that the existing team could expand. A few of us started at the same time, which has been nice. Around 10 years ago I was a volunteer park ranger at St Nicks so it’s wonderful to be working here again. 


What does a typical day involve? 

I run sessions with groups of volunteers where we spend three hours at a time carrying out practical tasks on the Green corridors sites of York. This could be scything wildflower meadows, planting bulbs, trees and plug plants, sowing wildflower seeds or building raised beds. Whatever the site needs in order to be good for wildlife, we try and make it happen. I also meet with landowners to see if there is anything we can do to help them manage their land for wildlife. I also organise work days where we get large groups of volunteers to blitz a big task. As with most jobs, there is also paperwork, form filling and spreadsheets to update, it can’t all be fun! 


How do you connect to nature? 

I have always been interested in the natural world; I think it stems from having a menagerie of animals at home as a child. Now that I have two children, I always try to encourage them to connect with nature too. We love camping as a family, the freedom and connection with the outdoors is liberating. We also do a lot of walking, we’re lucky enough to have family in the Lake District, we go there as much as we can but we also walk around our local area. We are lucky to live in York, there are so many green spaces where you can slow down, breathe and enjoy the nature that we have on our doorstep. 


Are you interested in getting involved with the project?  Why not check out our volunteering page. With a wide variety of tasks and no previous experience necessary, it’s a great opportunity to make a difference to your local green areas, meet new people and learn a new skill! 

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12 January 2022 | Categories: Natural Habitats