The MKO Ecology Team have always encouraged peer learning and sharing new information and discoveries to the wider group. At the start this tended to include practical information, for example notifications of health and safety information and details of new guidelines or legislation changes. When Covid hit, face-to-face contact was difficult, but the Ecology Team continued to maintain constant (virtual) communication. John Hynes, Director of Ecology, started to share photos of different ecological finds he saw during the week. The team then discussed the finds during their weekly team meeting and in this way, they were able to continue to learn from one another.

John encouraged all Ecology team members to post into the team group chat, and in no time all team members were posting their ecological finds every week and the discussion of the contents of the group became a major focus of the Monday meetings, with each person explaining what they had found and perhaps a little about its ecological significance.

This was a vital source of interaction that was otherwise missing from the team. It did more than this however, it allowed the growing team of ecologists to continue to learn and benefit from the experiences of the wider team in circumstances where this simply would not have been possible.

Thankfully our team of over 35 Ecologists can now undertake fieldwork together, learn and interact face-to-face. The team can travel to more places, they are now discovering more ecological finds and the group chat is busier than ever. The group communication continues to provide a valuable source of information, interaction and education for all members of the Ecology Team. It also reminds them why they chose to pursue careers in ecology. Check out the images below taken by our Ecology Team.