In 2002, Debbie Carter won a place on an Earthwatch expedition as part of the Millennium Fellowship Scheme. Funded by the Millennium Commission and Royal & Sun Alliance, the three-year scheme was designed to give people aged 50 and over an opportunity to join an international conservation expedition before applying their newfound knowledge in the local community on their return.
Debbie chose to visit Chile to support a project that was capturing, releasing and tracking Southern River Otters which are endangered due to illegal hunting, habitat loss and water pollution.
“It really was an experience of being at the sharp end” said Debbie. “It reinforced the fact of how important conservation is”.
Inspired by the Chilean project, Debbie began volunteering for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (WWT) on her return and began to monitor a four-mile stretch of local river for water voles. She and her husband have also become dormouse wardens for their local WWT woodland, a 100 acre stretch of ancient woodland that they help to maintain and coppice.