Profile: Lucy Hadingham

This week, we decided to have a chat with the lovely Lucy Hadingham. Lucy is a 3rd year Msci Conservation Biology and Ecology student, and treasurer of one of the biggest societies on campus: the Wildlife Documentary Society.

Why did you choose to study here in Cornwall? At home I live in a small village surrounded by fields where everyone knows everyone and it’s relatively quiet. Falmouth is the biggest place I’ve ever lived, which seems strange to some, but I knew life in a big city wouldn’t be for me. I love the fact here that I can walk 10 minutes from my house and reach the beach or the rolling Cornish hills. Studying here gives me the best of both worlds where there is a lively town with a few shops (a lot more than just a pub like back home) and the tranquility of the countryside on the doorstep.

What’s your favourite place that you’ve visited in Cornwall so far? Last summer I took a day trip with my second year housemates to a cove called Pedn Vounder, which is a short walk along the coastal path from Porthcurno. It's best to go at low tide when much of the beach is exposed, leaving behind a crystal clear lagoon that is perfect for swimming in; away from the waves in the sea and surprisingly warm! What makes the place so special is the amazing cliffs and rock formations that give cool photo opportunities around every corner. Its definitely worth a visit if you can manage the scramble down the rocks to reach it!  

Is there anywhere further afield you've been to that you want to visit again? In 2015 I was lucky enough to have volunteered with Operation Wallacea in the Peruvian Amazon. It was completely unlike anywhere I had ever been before and it felt like I was in an actual Attenborough documentary! Every morning I would wake up at dawn to the sound of howler monkeys calling in the distance, and Amazonian pink river dolphins surfacing next to the boats we were living on. Although, my favourite thing about the trip was the transect walks through the forest to survey the forest fauna. You had to move silently so you didn’t frighten anything away, but this meant we got to see so much more! There really is nothing like walking through a rainforest, totally immersed with nature all around you, above you, and sometimes on you, damn mosquitos! Going to the Amazon made me realise what career I want to pursue in the future, and hopefully it will be somewhere just as incredible as Peru! If I could go back tomorrow I would!

Why did you decide to join the Wild Doc Soc committee? During freshers I went to most of their film nights where they screened Attenborough documentaries and I really loved meeting like-minded people. The committee at the time also had a guest speaker talk from Ted Oakes, a producer at the BBC natural history unit. It was really interesting, and I thought what a cool society Wild Doc Soc was to get industry professionals in to talk to students. When committee positions came up shortly after the talk I decided that it was something I wanted to be a part of.

Congrats on being elected as treasurer for the 2nd year running! We hear that Wild Doc Soc has recently won FXU society of the year 2015! How does being the treasurer for such a big society challenge you? Wild Doc Soc is a very busy society and we have weekly meetings to help us keep organised. The fast pace can be challenging and means that I have to make sure to pay attention to all our costs and income, but it does mean I get to keep a very cool colour coded spreadsheet!   

Finally, are there any events coming up that we should know about? On the 2nd of November we are lucky enough to have our first guest speaker of the year, Michaela Strachan! We’re so excited as a committee to be able to have our first professional female speaker. It’ll be great to see her perspective of what it is really like to be in the natural history industry. We also have our first charity social of the year ‘Bug Night’ happening on the 3rd. This will give everyone a chance to have a great evening with friends, whilst helping to raise money for Michaelas charity, ‘The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation’.  

If Wild Doc Soc sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can check out their facebook page with upcoming events here.