Bede West

Bede West- BSc (Hons) Conservation and Forest Ecosystems with placement year and semester abroad (UBC Vancouver)

Works as: Fieldwork Officer UK National Tree Seed Project

Works for:  Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Millennium Seed Bank, Wakehurst Place.

Bangor was my top choice for university due to its good reputation as a forestry university, my degree course being up to date and highly relevant for work and also of course it’s proximity to the mountains of Snowdonia.

I really enjoyed my time at Bangor finding the course interesting as well as fun. I also began climbing through the university’s mountaineering society meaning I could enjoy the surrounding mountains even more. I did a semester abroad at UBC, Vancouver and a placement year at AECOM Ecology Department as a Field Surveyor. Vancouver widened my knowledge, globally so, and at AECOM I gained the relevant work experience I needed for the world of work. I believe both of these along with my degree gave me what I needed to get the position at Kew.

I achieved a 2:1 and was offered the opportunity to continue the work I did in my placement year with AECOM Ecology Department as a Field Surveyor but declined so that I could join Kew. I applied for the position at Kew at the same time as finishing my final university term and signed my job contract the day after I graduated.

I am based at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank in Sussex and I am the Fieldwork Officer for the UK National Tree Seed Project. This involves the organisation of seed collections across the UK, contributing to building a multi-provenance seed collection of all UK woody trees and shrubs. I organise collections by Kew staff to make sure we cover the full provenance range of each species. This involves working with forestry and conservation organisations to arrange and carry out fieldwork. I also help with the transfer and processing of seed for the Millennium Seed Bank, as well as assisting with training of Kew and partner organisation members on how to conduct seed collection.