Meet the team: Tanglewest Douglas
An interview with Tanglewest, Campaigns Researcher
12 January 2022
In his final word for 2021, CEO Nick Measham spoke of three new recruits to the S&TC team who will increase the depth and scope of our campaigning that is founded in evidence and the law.
Over the next few weeks, we are delighted to introduce them to you, starting with Tanglewest Douglas who joins us as a Campaign Research Officer and comes armed with ecology and law qualifications.
We asked Tanglewest about her new role at S&TC and how she believes it can have a positive influence for wild fish and their conservation.
What was your background prior to joining S&TC?
I have always loved nature and the outdoors. Before joining S&TC I was a student at Lancaster University where I studied Ecology and Conservation, and then did a Master’s degree in Environmental Law. While studying, I volunteered at a local zoo, caring for small animals, as a fundraiser for the charity Action Against Hunger, and as a youth councillor at the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. Alongside this I helped the university move toward being more sustainable.
Tell us about your new role?
In my role as campaigns researcher, I follow the latest scientific and policy developments that relate to our campaigning. I am also responsible for writing reports in which this information is made accessible to external audiences so they can form their own conclusions and make informed decisions.
How do you think your role can have a positive influence for wild fish and their conservation?
The freshwater environment is a wonderful and, in my opinion, under-appreciated part of nature. This often stems simply from a lack of understanding. Rivers, streams, lakes and ponds interact with the land around them, and are an indicator of the health of the wider environment. But even while absorbing pesticides and sewage and facing over-abstraction, they can remain remarkably beautiful, which may prevent people from recognising the damage and degradation occurring. By helping to make information accessible I hope that people will better appreciate the value of our freshwater habitats and the wildlife they support, including our amazing wild fish, but also see how vulnerable they are.
Your favourite freshwater species, and why?
Though it may not, at first glance, be the most glamorous choice, I love the common toad. I can’t really explain why I am so drawn to them. Watching tadpoles and tiny toads, right through to awkward mating attempts is brilliant. I find the lifecycles of species which move between freshwater and terrestrial environments fascinating. George Orwell wrote an essay: “Some Thoughts on the Common Toad” first published in 1946, which sums up the beauty of toads better than I could ever hope to and feels remarkably relevant today.
I believe there is so much that needs to be done to protect our aquatic environments. The most valuable thing to me about S&TC is that it is an independent charity and does not accept government funding. This allows us to be truly science-led. This is especially important for a charity that advocates for freshwater environments, which interact with so many different stakeholders and stressors. Clear, science-led direction is vital, and I am very excited to be a part of that.