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Alumni in the News: Ellie Chidgey

Thu, Apr 29th, 2021
Worth School

Former Worth student Ellie Chidgey has been involved in a fascinating project in Cornwall, photographing the work of a conservation project as part of her university course. Find out more in our latest ‘Alumni in the News’ feature.

Ellie (St Anne’s, 2019) is a second-year undergraduate at Falmouth University studying Marine and Natural History Photography, a specialised course where she is able to use the scuba diving skills she learnt while at Worth to explore the Cornish coastlines with underwater cameras and discover the unseen-wonders of the natural world with microscopy. The course has also raised Ellie’s awareness of global issues, including habitat loss, climate change and plastic pollution.

As part of the conservation module, she was set the task to design and create a feature article for a magazine based on a local conservation story, which led her to work with Dynamic Dunescapes, a project restoring sand dune biodiversity across England and Wales for the benefit of people, communities and wildlife.

Working closely with the group at Penhale Dunes, near Perranporth, she was amazed by the variety of invertebrates that inhabit the dunes. She said: “Talking with the volunteers, I was able to appreciate first-hand, what they are doing to protect the dunes. Their aim is to develop a better, self-sustaining mobile dynamic dune system, creating a balanced habitat with more areas of bare sand and dune slacks (damp water-filled dips). These are essential parts of the sand dune ecosystem for many amphibians and reptiles who rely on this habitat to burrow and the shallow pools to breed and forage.”

Ellie is pictured with Dynamic Dunescapes engagement officer Andy Nelson. The other images are a picture she took of the dunes and of a dive off the Cornish coast.

Worth Society is the School’s thriving alumni association that enables former pupils and staff to stay in touch with one another for business and social networking purposes, providing careers advice, support and lifelong guidance. The Society has become increasingly involved in supporting recent leavers. This year’s Year 13 leavers will become members of the Society this summer.