00.00.04 My names Matt B. I work for the Environment Agency. I’m based at Trentside, Nottingham as a Fisheries Technical Officer. I’m here to improve river habitat, improve fish populations and also improve access for anglers and make, generally, a better environment for the fish and the anglers today. When we need to restock it’s usually following either a pollution incident where something has gone wrong and there’s been a subsequent fish loss.
00.00.31 So then we would go and respond to that and as a long term project, we’ll restock and also help improve any habitat loss that might have subsequently happened. I’ve always from being four years old I’ve kept fish and from before I can even remember, my father took me fishing so it was quite a logical career choice really.
00.00.51 When I was at school, pretty much like any other boy, I really loved playing football and cricket and all sorts of sports and things like that, but found sometimes sitting there listening about certain things not so interesting shall we say. I wasn’t always the most academic person. I was always a more of a hands-on, getting stuck in sort of person so then coming to do the A levels and needing to
00.01.16 really stick your head in the book for long periods wasn’t necessarily for me. I went to a college in Hampshire called, which is a place called Sparsholt College. I did a degree in fisheries management and agriculture which is a three year course. When I first went to college, it was the first time I properly moved away from home and I went from the North East of England to Southampton.
00.01.36 300 miles away from home, you couldn’t just ring your mother up and say, ‘Mum, can you do my washing?’, or anything like that. You had to do it yourself and to this day, it was the making of me because it gave me, it let me stand up on my two feet and look after myself basically. From every opportunity given where I wasn’t actually at college or school, I would then train, increase my CV as it were.
00.02.04 I would try and look to work on fish farms or whatever, I’d help the disabled fishing club which my uncle was part of so I’d be helping that out just for, not very much money but again, just again the experience. My father being a big influence on me from taking me out fishing from a young age and keeping fish.
00.02.32 That was a massive influence because that gave me a focus in life from a very young age and that subsequently what I’m still focused in now. I think my father’s probably quite envious that I enjoy my job so much as I’m not so sure he quite enjoyed his job so much before he retired. My dad wanted to do marine biology and his dad said, ‘No, be an accountant because that’s where the money is’, and my dad regretted to this day that he’s never done marine biology.
00.02.54 I think he’s a little bit envious but he just said to follow your dreams basically. With my own children I like to pass on the knowledge and see them fulfilling a similar sort of career and certainly enjoy the passion of angling like I do. There’s other things outside of fish as well, keen football fan and I also like socialising like any other young lad and at the end of the day you’re here once, you might as well enjoy what you’re doing and I enjoy everything that I do, work and out of work.
00.03.19 So I think it’s a perfect balance. I still see myself working within fisheries and within the Agency, may be looking for a promotion of some description by then. Where that will take me I don’t know but certainly I would like to see myself starting to work up the ladder within the Agency.
00.03.43 I would say I am very lucky because I’m doing a job I really wanted to do and I really enjoy my job and there’s very few people who say that so I’ve done what I wanted to do basically.