Natasha Sharma, Communities and Wildlife Officer
What’s your earliest memory of nature?
Finding frogs in the garden when I was about two years old.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your new role at the Rye Harbour Discovery Centre
I live in East Sussex and my previous role was running Learning and Community programmes and activities in the countryside with the National Trust in Sussex as well as leading Forest School Groups with kindergarten and homeschoolers.
I am excited to be working as Communities and Wildlife Officer. This role involves working closely with schools. groups, volunteers and Friends of the reserve, making our every visit and action contribute to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve's success as a wildlife haven and to help them make a space for nature in their own lives.
Do you know the reserve?
I have only previously visited the reserve to look at the amazing array of wildlife it holds - once in search of elusive Marsh Helleborines which remained elusive, but I did discover a wonderful bee-line route around the reserve adorned with many other orchids and absolutely buzzing with bees which was fantastic.
What do you most like about the area?
The Rye area is so picturesque and I particularly love the colour palette created by the light on the shore and sea, but my favourite thing about it is the sound of the birds, the waves and the shingle.
What do you enjoy most about this kind of work?
I love being outside and my favourite part about this job is experiencing nature with other people and finding ways to make the experience resonate beyond the moment. The time when the song of a Skylark made a small person sing to themselves out in the field is something that will always inspire me to keep working with nature connections.
What are you most looking forward to in this role?
I cannot wait to see the reserve in all the different seasons and look forward to welcoming people to the new Discovery Centre, where I hope we can share our sightings, knowledge and enjoyment of this special place.
What’s your favourite marine creature?
The Short-snouted Seahorse - which is a very small but significant creature of our seas and estuaries in Sussex.
Favourite kind of cake?
At the moment - chocolate cake with some kind of sharp fruit - like damsons in it. This was a winning combination when I had it.