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Comments from recent participants:

Thank you for such a fantastic and challenging experience. I have gained so much and plan to put my new knowledge and confidence into action.

Sophie Bradfield. Corsica, June 2017


Before attending Operation New World I found it difficult to obtain paid work and my efforts were uncoordinated. I was stuck in unfufilling, part-time work. I am now driven and well on my way to obtaining gainful employment. You have provided me with key skills and experience. I cannot thank you enough for your help and guidance.

Charles Griffiths. Corsica, June 2017

The practical training and presentation skills have helped me gain more confidence and the one-to-one session at the end of the weekwas really helpful and has resulted in me feeling a lot more motivated and positive about my future. The knowledge and enthusiasm of the staff and their approachability and willingness to share is inspiring. Overall, I learned many new techniques, gained confidence and ultimately feel that I am more employable, which is astonishing from a one week course.

Aimee Littlechild. Corsica, June 2017

I am so grateful you accepted me onto the course. I learned a lot and throughout the week I challenged myself to improve on professional skills. this was tested by the staff in the best way possible. They were extremely encouraging and provided key feedback. It really helped me think about what I want to do with my future and reflect on aspects I want to improve on. Although I came on the course with no set expectations I was very impressed by the sheer amount of care and thought gone into it. I would highly recommend this course for people who need an extra boost and encouragement not to give up on finding employment. Lastly, I can definitely say this week has changed my life.

Freya McCarthy. Corsica, June 2017

Thank you for the wonderful course.  It was a really enriching, life-affirming, positive experience. all of the staff were incredibly positive, preaching that no matter what your background you can always succeed and made me realise that my skill set is valuable.  Before the course I was feeling vulnerable and immeasurably small, but they helped me feel important and powerful. Since finishing I have signed up for further online short courses.  Thanks for believing in me and making me feel valuable

Theodore Barrington-Stanley. Corsica, June 2017

I would like to express my gratitude to all involved for the opportunities that you have given me. I have learnt a great deal and now have a series of clear-cut objectives to fulfil.  I have already taken the first steps and I am now looking forward to continuing this path.

Dylan Owen. Corsica, June 2017

The opportunity you grated me on Operation New World was extraordinary. the training and insight you gave me are of great value and taught me how to direct my efforts to enter a professional field. I am excited to implement and expand on the skills I learnt and without this trip I would still be aimlessly fumbling around.

Elliot Tasker. Corsica, June 2017

These comments are from Fuerteventura 2016 Crew 1+ Year on
Many thanks to Anne, Colin and Todd from all the Fuerteventura March 2016 Cohort. For giving us the opportunity to learn some brilliant skills, facilitating our meeting and getting us to where we are today! This is a compilation of thank you’s and updates from us 1+ year on.

And from Fuerteventura  2017

“Thanks for an amazing course, you’ve really helped me renew my motivation and confidence in my abilities.”  Nick Wragg Fuerteventura 2017

“I really enjoyed the week in and am truly grateful for your dedication and patience throughout! Thank you so much for all the insider knowledge and advice. I have come back with a new wave of enthusiasm and energy and much more level headed, which I hope will get me into a job. I’ll keep you updated on any success or progress. I just wanted to let you know how thankful I am for everything you have done especially with all the files, and for the huge time commitment you made for the course.”

Jessica Lewis, Fuerteventura 2017


“Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to attend Operation New World 2017.

It’s certainly been an experience; from the late nights and early mornings, to realising that I’ve been searching for my career totally wrong this past year.

Thank you for showing me the hidden doors and secret paths with the potential for employment at the end of them, the cold hard truths of working life and the insider information on the job market…….

The final project, despite being fairly difficult was one of the most beneficial parts of the course for me. Utilising the knowledge gathered throughout the week as well as recalling previously buried information from the back of my brain really showed me that while I thought I had a good knowledge of the environment and its processes, I really need to refine my knowledge base to succeed.

The One-To-One chat was also very useful, honing my job search was probably the most useful aspect of Operation New World for me. Never really knowing what I was good at or what to look for left me stabbing in the dark and clutching at any straws available. Now I have a clear head and am caught up on sleep I am getting my nose to the grindstone and doing my research. ”                                           W. Yeoman. Fuerteventura 2017


“I unexpectedly stumbled upon Operation New World when searching desperately for any opportunity that would give my first steps in a career.  As the months went on I was reduced to searching solely for unpaid positions.  I sent Anne a message, highly doubting that such a good opportunity was legitimate, we exchanged a few emails and before I knew it I was jetting off to Fuerteventura.  What followed was one of the most strenuous and rewarding weeks I have ever had.
Todd, Colin and Pete proceeded to go through a hit list of the main surveying, map reading, report collaboration and team work skills that you need to be aware of when starting out.  I learnt so much every day, not only from our wonderful guides, but simply from being around people with similar life plans.  The whole experience made me so much more aware the opportunities that are available, and that I don’t just have to offer my skills for free, I can build a career!
Since my fieldtrip with Operation New World I have not only focused a lot on professional development, but have been offered a job (paid) teaching environmental science in Thailand, something I would have doubted myself professionally capable to contend with before this.  I thank Anne and the team from the bottom of my heart, this experience changed my life, and I would recommend it to absolutely anyone.
A year on from  Fuerteventura 2016

Charles Shi
The course prepared me for job applications, interviews and learning ‘how much I was worth’. I discovered a love for plants and have decided to pursue a route in horticulture, particularly botanical horticulture and plant conservation. I am now a horticultural apprentice at Waterperry Gardens, a historical institution for horticulture.

Lauren Senior
I can’t believe it’s been over a year since the Operation New World course!
Not long after we came home, my personal circumstances changed somewhat so I had a morning off a week from caring; I decided to use those mornings to volunteer with the National Trust. Soon afterwards, I applied to the National Trust Ranger Academy – just for the practice; not thinking anything would ever come out of it – but I was very fortunate to be offered a couple of the positions. My circumstances changed even further so I was lucky enough to be able to take up one of those positions and have since moved to Dorset to do so.
I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone involved in ONW ; it was a real pleasure and such a great opportunity. I’ll never stop being grateful for it.

Lizzy Cairns
I’m just beginning my fifth week as a Wildlife Recording Assistant for the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative – a partnership which aims to highlight and celebrate local cultural and natural heritage. My role focuses on involving local people in citizen science projects, running workshops to help people develop their ID skills and create more biological records for the area. I also have a casual contract with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park as a seasonal ranger! I feel very lucky and grateful for everything I learnt on the course last year – I don’t know where I would be without that amazing experience! Thank you!

Sam Manning
It’s been an eventful year since our wonderful shared experience of learning on the island of Fuerteventura. I hit the ground running after touching back down in my current home of Dorset with a job working for an ecological consultancy firm based in a 17th century manor house, outside of Corfe Castle. The skills I had learnt from Operation New World were put to solid use in this role, having already tested my capacity to work long hours, meet deadlines and think critically. I gained experience in Bat, Newt, Reptile and Plant surveying and writing reports for large infrastructure projects all over the south of England. During this time I also contributed my free time to raising awareness of overgrazing impact on ecological diversity in the New Forest, a story which made its way into the Guardian newspaper.
After a long summer of very little sleep and hard work, I felt a pull back towards charity sector work, and landed a role as a habitats management operative for ‘Amphibian Reptile Conservation Trust’ in Dorset – working with chainsaws and controlled fires daily to create bespoke habitat value for target species such as Sand Lizard and Smooth Snake on lowland heathland sites.
I have just started my third seasonal role as a wildlife ranger at one of the UKs busiest country parks, and sub-contracting as a Bat Ecologist for a large ecology company based in Bristol. I am enjoying the role, as it is my first experience of working for the public sector, and in a very busy and dynamic environment with many different professionals and land uses working closely together.
As for the future, Operation New World was so important in broadening my perception of what I could achieve in my career, and inspired me to think pro-actively about where I want
to be. In the last year, I have become much more aware of my passion for trees and woodlands, and have decided to focus my future career on my core interests of afforestation and sustainable woodland management. I am six months in to a volunteer role as a Woodland Creation Advisor for the Woodland Trust, and have been regularly blogging on all things trees (https://sambmanning.tumblr.com).
The greatest gift Operation New World gave me was the drive to be proactive, and to go above and beyond to achieve my goals. Since we left I have found the confidence to network, attending events and conferences, meeting giants of ecology such as David Attenborough, George Monbiot, the editors of BBC wildlife magazine and British wildlife magazine, Dr. Ian Rotherham (contemporary of Oliver Rackham, a great hero of mine), Hugh Warwick and 2016 US Democratic Party, presidential candidate, Bernie Saunder’s brother if you can believe it. I have travelled all over the country and seen incredible nature reserves, ancient woodlands, re-wildling projects and met people doing amazing things with the land, and shaping a sustainable future for people and wildlife. Operation new world has given me focus and the aspiration to carve out a niche in a sector and subject that I am excited and passionate about.
Huge thanks once again to Anne Leonard for providing us with the opportunity, for which I am sure I owe to much of the successes of the last year of my liife.

I would like to begin with a strong thank you for the experience and the empowerment that it gave me and thank you for the knowledge that I came away with.
I came away from thel course as if  I had taken a breath of fresh air. I came away with an understanding of my value  and empowerment to develop my hard skills.
Sorry to say, I came home to a family crisis which led to everything else taking a back seat. Since then, I have moved home twice and had numerous employments within the outdoor education sector. All of which has led me to my current employment as an Outdoor Education & Logistics Manager in Oxford. The role was of interest to me due the project management skill requirement and the prospect of development. This was something I decided to focus on after the course.
This summer I hope to join a Prince2 project management course, with the aim of developing my skill set and strengthen my future job prospects. Next year, I aim to move down south with the notion of putting my skills into a more environmental based employment.


Christina Hewitt
Coming home after the course I was inspired to push forward in gaining a career in consultancy.
In April, I moved to Manchester to begin a 6 month placement with the ecological consultancy company ECUS. I hope that 6 months’ experience within consultancy will stand me in good stead for getting a full-time position and furthering my career. So far on my placement I have undertaken background data searches for a range of projects and written up reports. I have also been out several nights a week doing great crested newt surveys, which I enjoy despite the late nights and early mornings. In the upcoming weeks, I’m am going to be conducting reptile surveys, bat surveys and phase 1 habitat surveys, which I am looking forward to.
Once again I would like to thank Ann for the exceptional opportunity that operation new world offer. Another thank you must go to Todd and Colin for all their advice and guidance which was second to none and I feel that it has been invaluable in helping me get to where I am today.

Russel Critchley
A year on – and what an influence Operation New Wold has had on my career! Further to the skills and knowledge that I use to this day, the course has given me the confidence to pursue a career that I enjoy and value. For this and more; Anne, Colin, Todd, Pete, you have my deepest and sincere thanks.
So, what have I been doing since? Well, last September, I undertook a six-week voluntary internship with The Small Woods Association. From here, I began working for a countryside management company and managing woodland on a self-employed basis. The following January, Small Woods head-hunted me to fulfil a short contract, managing their events for the year. Since finishing this contract, they have asked me to become their representative at all the events I organised.
And, to top it off, I received a phone call last week from the Lincolnshire Rivers Trust, offering me the role of project officer… I start next month.

Emma Scattergood
Within the last year I have completed a traineeship with the Yorkshire wildlife trust. Whilst undertaking the traineeship I have furthered my knowledge within ecology. I have learnt the basics of QGIS and put this in to practice mapping trees. I have lead volunteer groups, gained my tractor and brush cutter tickets. I also met sir David Attenborough, when he came to the Trust’s birthday. Now, I am currently in a seasonal role as a garden/estate worker, working for Mount St Johns estate owned by the nephew of the late Ken Morrison. Loving every minute of it every day is different on the estate. Although it is only a seasonal role I hope that this is the start of my way on the career ladder in this sort of role.
This photo is when I went on a trainee trip to Spurn Point, one of the Trust’s reserves. It’s a group shot just after we fished foil hunting (may not be ecology but it was fun). I am on the far right.

Nicole Mallett
A year on from operation new world and I am in the middle of doing a course working with Natural Power. Before starting in September, I went and worked with the National Park Service with their Natural Resource Management team at Isle Royale National Park over the summer. Doing the Operation New World course gave me the confidence and skills to pursue a degree and hopefully a job after. Many thanks to Todd, Collin and Anne for the amazing experience and knowledge that got me this far.


Thank you so much for accepting me on to the Operation New World course in Fuerteventura. I have returned home feeling motivated, inspired and ready to put everything I have learnt from you and my fellow participants into practice. I feel empowered by my new gain in knowledge and more confident in exploring opportunities. I have developed a more focussed sense of direction both personally and professionally and am excited for what the future holds in terms of career opportunities. I think the varied nature of the course was highly beneficial in allowing each of us to discover new skills and find our own paths.  It was also excellent to see how everyone else progressed on the course too – the improvements were remarkable!”
                                                                         Rhiannon O’Connell, Fuerteventura 2016


“ When I went on your course to Corsica, my life was a mess. The course helped me to communicate with people and since then I have made a massive effort to turn my life around. I got myself referred to a treatment centre. Now I’m in my first year of a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, something I thought was well out of my reach. Thank you for giving me the opportunity.”Newcastle on Tyne

” My son took part in your last course. He had been suffering with depression for two years and we had begun to give up hope. We have seen some real dark times with him and he had become totally de-motivated. I never thought he would be able to hold down any sort of job, so we were amazed when he announced he was going to Corsica. I’m not sure you are aware of the impact you had on that group. They thought you did a great job with them. They bonded and became a team of like being souls and, for my son at least, this was a life changing episode in his life. He left as a down and out and came back as a confident and worldly wise young man, the likes we had not seen for many a while.
Within a week of returning he got himself a job as an Environmental Engineer, with a good salary and company car. I am confident that you built his character and have had an impact on him far wider than you realise. Please keep up the good work.”London

” Thank you for the fantastic experience. I learned a lot, and learned where my direction in life was going. It was invaluable. I was really inspired by the techniques we learned and when I got home, I got offered a paid placement.”–Brighton

” I wouldn’t be on my current path today without the help from all the staff on the Corsica trip, and I certainly wouldn’t have got my present job! “Malvern

” I feel so refreshed. That trip has really changed me and I have calmed down so much. It now feels like a breath of fresh air I must say. I know I’m going to get that job! “Manchester

” I managed to get a seasonal paid job with the National Trust – something I have wanted to do for a long time. I had the interview soon after we got back and was told that my enthusiasm was the deal-breaker, so thank you!

” I just really want to say thank you for the opportunity you gave me. After speaking to everyone in the group, we all feel that something has happened inside. It’s difficult to say exactly what, but a huge change has come over all of us for the better, as if we have all realised something new. We also feel that we will be friends for life, and that alone is worth a massive thank you, for we have all taken something profound from this course, which we will carry for a long time.”Devon

“I now have paid employment. The field trip was one of the best experiences of my life due to the teaching, the place and the people and it has re-inspired me”.
Kate Sandel, Devon

“I learned such a great deal in a relatively short space of time. The course builds up an individual’s confidence”.
Hannah Lowick, Northampton

“As much as we learned about the environment, it was equally the experienceof working with so many drastically varied characters that I found beneficial. George Manley, London. Emma Beer, Surrey

“I feel I have learned so much. My eyes have been opened and I am ready to explore my surroundings and my own capabilities. Kimberley Levick, Emma Beer, Surrey

“I have a few more ideas now and am hopefully moving towards being outdoors and working with people and wildlife – which is what I love. Olivia Flenley, London

“I have just started my new job!”. Anthony Lee, Carlisl

“I am finding that the experience is very valuable when filling out application forms. It was a unique experience that helped me to focus on what I really want to do. Being around like-minded people helped a lot”. Jay Harrison, Nottingham

“I have not got a fulltime job (two months on) but I now have more contacts and a better idea of where to look for jobs”. Natasha Epstein, Bristol

“The course inspired me. The field trip was a great experience and I learned a lot. —Cristina Lewis, Somerset

“Recently I applied for a job as a ranger and I actually got the job! — Roger Tait, Southampton

“Brilliant! I learned a lot and it gave me a thirst to find out more. Especially good was the teamwork and inter-personal skills”– Emma Beer, Surrey

“I think we all felt very privileged to take part and I have been fortunate in finding a job in an environmental consultancy. Without Operation New World, this would not have been possible”.– Kathryn McCann, Surrey

“Soon after I got back, I was employed by my local authority as a parks ranger”.— Andrew Hancock, Suffolk

“I found a job after I got home! I definitely think it is a very worthwhile programme”.— Rebecca Ormond, Glasgow

“It gave me the confidence I needed to gain employment in a field in which I really wanted to work in. I think ONW does a fantastic job” — Lucy Rees, Bristol

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