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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

James Luetchford: Conservation with Plantlife International

James spent the summer working with Plantlife International, find out more about his experience below.

"Over the summer of 2013, I took on an internship with Plantlife International - the UK's only wildflower conservation charity.  As a not-for-profit organisation, they rely heavily on funding from a range of sources to manage their 23 nature reserves, develop outreach projects and engage with new corporate sponsors.  Whilst there, I was given the primary task of developing their corporate engagement system, which involved reconnecting with stakeholders and forging new sponsorship deals; this was also balanced with a mixture of tasks - from research into increasing revenue from trusts, securing new grants and improving the appeal of legacy donations, to constructing props for their stall at RHS Hampton Court.  This was the most unique part of the placement, as it allowed me to engage with a wider public audience, and to spread the message of conservation.  The main outcome of my internship was a greater awareness of the impacts that a small charity can have on public perceptions of nature - from the ecological aspects to the cultural ones - and how easy (or indeed difficult) that can be."

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