At the Lake District Wildlife Park, alongside the keepers there are support staff who keep the cogs ticking in the background! From the moment you walk through the entrance, there will be a smiling face on reception to greet you, or café staff at the ready to feed you. From maintenance to office tasks there is always plenty to do! All the staff have one thing in common though – they love working with animals. Be it a zebra, an eagle or a gecko, everyone has their favourites. Next time you visit just ask any member of staff what their favourite animal is…and you should get a range of different answers!
Name: Lucy Dunn
Position: Education and Marketing Coordinator
I really do think I have one of the best office jobs around! In the morning whilst checking emails, I listen to lar gibbons singing in the trees. On my way to the toilet, I say hello to the tapirs and the meerkats and at lunch time I watch the otters playing, the lemurs sunbathing or the birds of prey flying.
Last year I decided to make a big leap of faith by leaving my full-time job and I spent 6 weeks in the Amazon rainforest researching and recording birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. This was the culmination of a lot of study and hard work to change career. I had completed a BSc (Hons) degree in Natural Sciences with the Open University and over the years volunteered with Cumbria Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and the Lake District Wildlife Park to gain practical experience. I really wanted to combine my love of animals, conservation and education and the perfect role came along at the Lake District Wildlife Park!
As the Education coordinator, I am keen for children to learn about the natural world and the wonderful animals that we have on the planet. I work with the keepers to deliver educational, interactive and fun workshops. It is so satisfying seeing a group of school children after a visit to the Park filled with enthusiasm about the animals they have seen and learnt about.
The other part of my role is marketing and it really helps that I am so passionate about the Park! I am biased but a hands-on reptile encounter, informative keeper talks and a bird of prey display really does make it a fantastic day out for all ages.
I also promote the fantastic conservation work that goes on behind the scenes. At the Lake District Wildlife Park, we participate in endangered species breeding programmes and support three overseas conservation charities that help to conserve lemurs, vultures and red pandas. The work of the charities is not only about protecting the animals, they also support local communities within the project areas.
Finally, working with a team of positive people who are clearly passionate about what they do make the Lake District Wildlife Park such a great place to work. Couple that with all the animals I get to see every day I really do have a dream job and I don’t have to clean up any poop!