Originally written for Wigan Today

Local environmentalist and blogger Lydia Tabrizi has been working on the front line on a once in a lifetime project.

Over the past six months Lydia, 24, has partnered with leading organisations and industry experts from across the world as part of an international environmental scheme. The ultimate aim of the programme is to pass on skills and experience to help inform and shape the future career opportunities of young people while also broadening their views of potential jobs in the marine sector. Only two internships are available every year and Lydia proved that she was the best candidate to take on the opportunity.

Lydia’s passion for the environment started from an early age: “It developed when I was really young. I remember going to an aqua park in Portugal and that’s when my interest started to grow.

“I decided to take an extra year at college before deciding about University. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and so I ended up choosing something that I was really passionate about.”

Lydia studied biology at Runshaw College before specialising in marine biology at Bangor University, gaining her master’s degree in the process. Following her internship, Lydia has secured a role as Marine Lead Advisor with Natural England.

“The internship last year was really varied and gave me great insight into working in the marine sector. I helped with mud dipping and beach school events; carried out seal, seagrass and wading bird surveys. I also learnt about how offshore windfarms are developed, constructed and operated on a day-to-day basis.”

“The most important part of my internship was doing a research project to look at the possibility of the co-existence between fisheries, Marine Conservation Zones and offshore windfarms. This novel study looked at opportunities for fishermen to diversify to more sustainable fishing methods (using creel pots instead of trawling), which would limit the impact of fishing on fragile marine life and allow fishing to co-exist with developments at sea. The competition for space in the sea is ever-increasing so projects like this, which can benefit conservation, local communities and sustainable development, are really important.

“I honestly can’t speak highly enough of the entire scheme. I have had so many unbelievable experiences and I’d really like to commend the internship. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

The scheme, ran by The Crown Estate, is managed by the North West Wildlife Trust which have locations across the Lancashire and Merseyside Region.