Meet Elaine!

This year the Cumbria Woodlands team has been growing with new projects and new people! One of our recent new members is Elaine who has joined the team as Finance Assistant and, as you will find out below has a wealth of skills and experience to bring to the organisation.

Welcome, Elaine! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Elaine Mercer, I'm currently based in Rutland (East Midlands), the smallest county in the country, with a perimeter of 65 miles! The Rutland Round is a walking route which takes you around the perimeter, and this year I'm walking it with my husband and border collie, Willow, in 6 sections. We've completed 4 sections, around 40 miles so far. I've also lived in Bedfordshire and Suffolk.

What's your role within Cumbria Woodlands?
I look after the finances. My title is Finance Assistant. I am a CIMA-qualified management accountant and have worked in a range of organisations.

Was it a conscious decision to work with a woodland organisation?
Given climate change, I was keen to work for an organisation that was making a positive difference in this area. When I saw the advert for Cumbria Woodlands and the good work they were doing, I knew it was the right organisation for me!

How does quality financial management help us deliver our objectives as an organisation?
Quality financial management ensures that Cumbria Woodlands can continue its work for years to come, helping to protect and create woodlands for future generations to enjoy.

And how's it going, are you enjoying yourself?
It's going great, the Cumbria Woodlands team have been really welcoming. As a bonus, I'm also learning about woodland creation and woodland management! A key moment was when I got to meet all the team face to face at our quarterly team gathering in the beautiful Borrowdale valley. I'm looking forward to the next team gathering when we will be visiting some of the great projects that Cumbria Woodlands are involved in.

What have you learned since you started?
What I've learned about woodland... I've learned that if I ever want to create my own woodland, I will need advice. What I've learned about Cumbria... Cumbria is a beautiful county, and I need to explore more of it!

Do you have a favourite Cumbrian place to visit?
There are so many lovely places in Cumbria. I particularly like Derwent Water and the Borrowdale valley.

Have you discovered any similarities between Financial management and woodland management?
Tricky question! Perhaps the need to focus on both the detail and the bigger picture...

What do you get up to outside of work?
I love going for long walks with my Border Collie, going to the theatre, learning to play the piano (badly) and reading. Last year I had a go at growing organic vegetables, but need to hone my skills on this! I also recently completed a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Cognitive Neuroscience, as I have a keen interest in understanding how the brain works. For my Masters research, I used EEG to investigate how we perceive differences in faces, using willing participants!

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