Russell Ashfield

LENs newcomer and vintage bus enthusiast hops aboard the number 3Keel to Oxford, working in the Landscape Innovation practice area…

The Basics

Name: Russell Ashfield

Job title: Senior Consultant

Lives: Stroud, Gloucestershire

Qualifications: B.Sc. (Hons) Countryside Management, Wye College, University of London.

Welcome to 3Keel! How has your day been so far?

Really good thanks.  I’ve had a really good catch up with my line manager on a range of work (and non-work!) related issues so that’s been really helpful to get a steer from him, and also get to know him a bit better.  I have a meeting this afternoon with clients and hope to move forward on a couple of projects so I am preparing for that.

You’ve joined 3Keel completely remotely because of the Covid-19 pandemic. How have you found it so far, and how do you stay connected to the team?

I spent all of last year working remotely in my previous role so working remotely isn’t new, but joining a new company with totally new work colleagues without being able to bump into them in the corridor or over the photocopier is a shame. It’s been great having (zoom) daily coffee mornings which colleagues join so that’s a useful way to get to know the wider team and making use of new technology I haven’t used before like Slack has been helpful. We’ve also got a buddy system for new starters so it’s been useful having someone that I can ask new boy questions to! Within my team I have one colleague who I am working closely with and we’ve known one another for many years so that’s made connecting and getting up to speed a lot easier.

What have you started working on so far?

I’m working on two Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs), helping to move the MidLENs project in Derbyshire forward towards its first trade, and establishing a new LENs in Bristol. It’s coincidental that my previous role was based in Bristol and before that I was in Derbyshire so to be working on two projects in areas I know with people I’ve worked with is great.

What are you looking forward to most about working for 3Keel?

A combination of applying my experience to help deliver real outcomes, in addition to learning new skills in totally different areas of work – I’ve learnt so much already and have a totally new range of acronyms! 3Keel has got a great reputation, deservedly, for what it delivers and to be part of that team delivering real outcomes is what I’m looking forward to most.

Who or what inspired you to work in sustainability?

I’ve always had a passion for the outdoors, for nature, and the part farming plays in shaping the landscapes we all use, benefit from and enjoy. I want to be able to make a difference, to see real tangible change from the work I’m involved in, particularly in relation to farmed landscapes.

How has the pandemic affected your views on sustainability?

For me it has made the importance of local more paramount; in terms of local food production, access to local countryside and valuing what we have on our doorsteps.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?

I enjoy getting out in the local countryside with my dog, my wife and I own a canal boat so we enjoy taking that out, the main sport I follow is horse racing so now we’re allowed it’s been great to get back on a few racecourses again, and I have a passion for vintage buses, but I haven’t taken the plunge and bought one – yet!