Laura Thornton, Ashleigh Carter and Natalie Harris
Laura Thornton, Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Laura is passionate about sharing her love for the sea and everything in it and she does so conscientiously and tirelessly, always with a smile on her face and a kind word for all the she meets. She has been involved with the Trust since arriving in Cornwall in 2018 and has completed multiple volunteering roles while studying and working. She joined the Beach Rangers Academy where she worked her way through the Awards available, learning all she could about the local marine life and conservation issues. From there, Laura became a member of the Our Bright Future Youth Forum which has seen her attend Parliament to speak with MPs about marine issues and attend conferences and events where she has collaborated with other projects around the UK.
Laura presented at the 2020 Your Shore Conference, speaking to 150 people working in marine conservation across Cornwall and the South West about her experience and about how important it is to include young people in local conservation projects. Having completed the second year of her degree throughout lockdown, instead of taking a break over the summer Laura became a volunteer Marine Ranger for Polzeath Marine Conservation Group, running socially distanced events from rock pooling to art classes and speaking to hundreds of people about the coastline. Her energy and passion is infectious and she inspires everyone she meets to learn more, care more and do more for their own marine environment.
Ashleigh Carter, Tees Valley Wildlife Trust
Ashleigh is a Marine Biology graduate and has been a volunteer with the Trust for two years, demonstrating her commitment and passion for protecting marine and coastal species. She initially joined as a volunteer with the Wader Team, a very hardy bunch who brave everything that the North East coast throws at them to conduct bird disturbance surveys through the winter.
Natalie Harris, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Natalie joined the Trust’s project, Secrets of the Solent, within it’s first year. She had been carrying out her own beach cleaning campaign in her local area and came to the project to learn more about the environment she wanted to protect and spread the knowledge and passion for the Solent. She has a large Instagram following who support the ‘Clean Our Seas’ campaign that she has been organising for a number of years, arranging beach cleans one to two times a week. She has used her Instagram platform to help promote the Trust’s Solent project and she has volunteered on a large number and variety of events.