Meet the Team: Rachel Faichnie

Rachel is our Education Officer working for the Beelines North East project. She’s the person behind the amazing interactive family sessions taking place in our parks, and our programme of educational events for schools. 

What did you do before you joined Urban Green Newcastle? 

I had just graduated with my master’s degree in Zoology from Glasgow University, with my dissertation focusing on plants and pollinators! 

Do you have a specialist subject? 

Plant-pollinator interactions. The close relationship between plants and pollinators is fascinating.  

What’s your best piece of advice for home gardeners? 

Many plants we view as weeds are a great food source for insects. Try and leave a patch of your garden to grow wild to help support local wildlife. 

Do you have a favourite green space in the city?

I have loved exploring Newcastle’s green spaces since I recently moved here. I have to say Nuns Moor Park has been one of my favourites. 

Do you have a favourite animal?  

Definitely the Great Yellow Bumblebee. I spotted one whilst I was working up in the Outer Hebrides, which was very exciting as it’s a rare species! 

What do you do outside of work?

I usually spend my free time in the gym and practicing yoga with friends. I also love reading Greek mythology and I’m a sucker for reality tv.  

What 3 books would you recommend? 

Some of my favourite books are… 

  • Girl, Women, Other by Bernardine Evaristo  
  • The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker 
  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari  

What’s a surprising fact about you? 

I’ve spent some time studying wild giraffe populations in the bush in South Africa.