0.00.00 My name is Becky C. I work for the Environment Agency and I’m a Planning Liaison Officer one based at our office in Lichfield. As a Planning Liaison Officer I’ve been allocated local authorities which I work alongside. They’ll screen all their planning applications to see if there’s any issues relating to contaminated land or flood risk or anything that’s potentially polluting to the environment, and they’ll refer them to me to review.
0.00.30 I loved school. I think I was probably quite nerdy at school. I think quite a few people thought I was an eco warrior back then, my constant nagging on recycling and caring about things such as climate change and the greenhouse effect and obviously the ozone layer, they were all big things when I was growing up.
0.01.00 I also know that I had quite a lot of friends and I probably, probably passed on a little bit of my eco warrior to them as well. Well I did my A levels and my mum, when she was younger I think she wanted to be a teacher really desperately so when it came to going to university my mum’s only focus was to let me go to university to do teaching so I thought I’d give it a try and I started a degree with education and science. I didn’t really enjoy it very much. Some of the children weren’t having a great time in my class and you know a lot of them had difficulties at home.
0.01.30 I felt quite powerless really to make a real difference. So I decided that perhaps teaching wasn’t the right thing for me. I changed my degree to do health and environmental science. I didn’t tell my mother for two years that I’d changed my degree. I was concerned about making her feel a great disappointment really in what I’d done.
0.02.00 I think that she thought it was a more suitable career for a woman whereas I just really wanted to follow my passion which was the environment really. I don’t think she appreciated it but she doesn’t complain about my career choices now. I did what any graduate does when they’re waiting to move into the profession they love. You do a bit of temping. I then got a job working at Birmingham Prison in their education department so I’ve kind of come full circle and found myself as an advice and guidance tutor.
0.02.30 It was while I was working there I had a contract for a permanent job at the prison and a permanent offer of a job at the Environment Agency and the prison paid better but I decided to go for my first passion. I think really my dad was one of my main inspirations. He’s always been really concerned about the environment and Mrs Barlow, my geography teacher at secondary school.
0.03.00 She was really brilliant and she always made us aware that the world is a very small place and we should enjoy and understand as much of it as possible and if we can make it a better place to live in. I go angling quite a lot. I’m also qualified angling coach which is really rare for women but again it’s that whole experience as a child of being around the environment and wanting to protect it really. So that’s my dad’s fault more than anything, he’s a keen angler and I inherited the family angling genes.
0.03.30 At the moment I’m undertaking a Masters in spatial planning which I’m on day release from work for. So in 18 months that’ll be finished and I’ll be a completely fully qualified planner which I’m sure will be fantastic. I look forward to seeing my children enjoy parks and the green space, that hopefully I’ll have helped to create for the future.