Why the Ecosulis Internship has opened the door to rewilding

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We recently spoke with one of our Graduate Interns, Ella Milne, about her time at Ecosulis and what she has learnt in her 7 months in the internship programme. 

What led you to working with Ecosulis?   

“I’d always been interested in conservation and ecology. I went from a Zoology degree to a research masters, during which time I was exploring the use of tech to track animal movement. This is what prompted my interest in using technology and innovation to help with conservation. 

I ended up working with a traditional ecological consultancy after this and, although I developed some great skills there, I felt like the work we were doing was only mitigating the real issues. I wanted to do more, to help improve nature rather than just reduce the impacts. Rewilding very much embodies this, and I became fascinated with the topic. 

When I saw the internship at Ecosulis it was as if I’d found my dream role. Everything about what they were doing, their mission, and their values really aligned with my own.” 

What does the internship role entail? 

“What’s great about the Ecosulis internships is that we’re given a specific role. We aren’t just interns – we’re truly embedded in the team. I’ve been working as an Ecosystem Analyst with a focus on acoustic monitoring for animals and taken part in various projects to use these devices in the real world, such as our pocket rewilding work in Dorney. I’ve loved the scientific side of this work, but it’s also given me the chance to travel around the UK, do practical field work, and meet with landowners. 

I’ve also had the opportunity to work on a significant new project for the company which involves developing rewilding credits to support a more investible economy for rewilding and nature recovery. Our aim is to evidence rewilding by using innovative technologies, like remote sensing, to baseline a site and quantify the positive changes, then make this revenue generating for landowners. 

Everything we’ve achieved, that we’re working on, has been incredibly constructive and positive. The way Ecosulis connect with landowners is so personal and it’s rewarding to be helping them in this journey.” 

Why is working with the next generation important to Ecosulis? 

“It might sound over the top, but young people are the future of the planet – we will be looking after it for the next generation. University teaches you a lot, but there are so many crucial skills which can only be learnt outside of this. The internship has been a valuable steppingstone into the working world and into rewilding as a sector.  

The Ecosulis team completely understand this, which is why they’ve designed their programme to be so supportive and practical. I think it’s fantastic that they’re hiring more interns and encouraging young people to get involved in conservation because it’s not something I’ve seen from any other companies. 

Something I think that’s worked particularly well is the fusion of different generations in the company. As young people, we’re growing up around new tech and we can offer a lot of innovation and ideas.” 

What do you like the most about Ecosulis as a company?  

“Every day we are pushing to do the right thing for the planet, people, the economy, for society… 

The people are what make Ecosulis, but the company itself is incredible. We are at the forefront of the sector. All the time it feels like we’re evolving the sector and working on the cutting-edge. It’s an incredibly exciting and dynamic place to be. 

Equally, I couldn’t have asked for better colleagues. Our team is very close-knit which leads to really productive conversations – there’s always space to voice your opinion and discuss ideas. The wider support team has also been fantastic with training and general support. Every person has their own strengths so I always know who I can go to for help. 

In particular, Paul has given us personal development meetings each month which has been very beneficial to help us step back, reflect, and move forward constructively. He’s also put us in touch with some of the leading rewilding experts, like Wouter Helmer from Rewilding Europe and Peter Cairns from Scotland The Big Picture, which I never would have thought would be possible. The whole experience has been very inspiring.” 

How have you developed during your time on the internship? 

“Definitely with creative problem-solving and confidence. I’m usually a rather analytical thinker, but the team has encouraged me to develop conceptual thinking and come up with my own ideas. My confidence has been lifted so much because of everyone’s kindness and support. There’s a huge wealth of knowledge in the company and I really feel like this has been shared with and ingrained in me. 

I absolutely want to continue in the rewilding and conservation sector, with so much of that all thanks to Ecosulis.”  

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