Rachel - Biodiversity Consultant
"You may be surprised, but Gatwick is actually home to many protected species, including bats, badgers and great crested newts!
"I'm the airport's Biodiversity Consultant, which means I maintain the many green spaces in and around the Gatwick site. We have lots of habitats near Gatwick and it's very important that we look after them. While most humans just pass through Gatwick to get from A to B, there's countless species that actually live here - and we want to keep it that way!
"I graduated university with a Zoology degree and later completed a Masters in Biological Sciences. I volunteered for the Sussex Wildlife Trust and was also a part-time gardener before starting my dream role at Gatwick in 2012.
"My working day is very varied, and often weather dependent! My earliest start is at 6am for breeding bird surveys, where I identify different calls and songs. Then I carry out butterfly and reptile inspections (as long as it’s sunny!) and later move onto habitat management.
While most humans just pass through Gatwick to get from A to B, there's countless species that actually live here - and we want to keep it that way!
"It’s particularly important for us to maintain our levels of rare and protected species. A few years back, I discovered that a colony of long-horned bees had made Gatwick their home. It’s a very rare species in the UK, and I work really hard to ensure that they have everything they need to continue to thrive at the airport year after year.
"In fact, the BBC were so interested that such an uncommon species was living at the airport that they came to film them for The One Show. The long-horned bees are now the wildlife stars of Gatwick – thankfully I haven’t witnessed any diva behaviour from them, though!"
When Rachel from our Biodiversity team isn't working tirelessly to protect our green spaces, she’s relaxing at home in Brighton with her beloved zebra finches: Hannibal, Ares and Scipio.
Is Rachel’s the most unusual airport role you’ve heard of? 🐝 🌳