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17 September 2014
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Nature's Calendar

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Sue Wilkinson - meet the web team

My Nature's Calendar

Sue Wilkinson

I've had a long-standing passion for wildlife and the environment since my childhood.

I trained as a Town and Country Planner before switching careers to journalism with the BBC. I now produce TV websites.

Get interactive - Sue Wilkinson

Sue Wilkinson welcomes you to your nature website...

Water lilyMy passion for nature can be traced back to my childhood living on the Merseyside coast in North West England.

I remember being fascinated by the sand dunes on Formby not far from where we lived. Its pine woods boasted a large population of Red Squirrels.

Later on we moved to Cheshire and I can recall happy days spent in Tatton and Lyme Parks watching the deer on those two huge country estates.

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After university in Nottingham I developed an interest in urban wildlife, working as a Town Planner for Newcastle City Council where I worked on a strategy for green spaces.

At the time many green areas were being eaten away by development, so I was on a mission to save valuable spaces for nature.

I remember that one of my jobs was walking around all the city's green spaces and recording what was there - my feet were pretty tired after that six month stint.

One of my favourite nature spaces at the time was Byker Farm, an urban farm right in the heart of the inner city which gave children a chance to look at animals and nature.

Media stories

River WyeWhen I left town planning, I enjoyed stints as a university researcher, a press officer, and a music development worker before joining the BBC in 1995.

During this time I enjoyed some notable experiences including meeting The Spice Girls and appearing on the National Lottery Live in front of 11 million people!

My first media job was as a radio researcher on BBC Late Night North, a phone in and current affairs talk programme.

This led to me producing a number of different shows on BBC Radio Newcastle.

Eventually I shifted gear and moved into new media, cutting my teeth on the BBC Tyne website before moving into TV websites.

These days I work across a portfolio of BBC TV websites including Inside Out, the Politics Show, and Nation on Film.

Nature lover

PuffinWildlife and the natural world have been high on my work programme in recent years with lots of opportunities to go wild in the country.

I worked on the British Isles - A Natural History series, producing a pilot for the 'Walks through Time', an outdoor walk looking at geology and fossils.

This was followed by work on the BBC Coast web walks which went on to win a BAFTA for Interactivity.

If you haven't seen these walks, they're great because there is also a mobile phone version which you can download into your iPod.

I also helped to produce a major Springwatch event at Kielder in Northumberland National Park.

I'm also an avid fan of the BBC's other nature sites including Breathing Places and Planet Earth.

Favourite wildlife retreats

Swans c/o WWTToday I live in Newcastle, but travel up and down the country regularly with my work.

Some of my favourite nature places are on my doorstep - Holy Island, the Farne Islands, and St Abbs Head.

The Farnes are amazing with some of the best sea bird spectacles in the whole of the UK.

I'm also within easy reach of stunning wilderness areas like The Cairngorms and the Isles of Arran and Mull.

Further afield, other favourite wildlife spots are Slimbridge in the West Country, the Norfolk Broads and Dartmoor.

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Activities (Image: Robin)

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