Magazine article Geographical

Project Manager, Wetlands Centre

Magazine article Geographical

Project Manager, Wetlands Centre

Article excerpt

Kevin Peberdy is the project manager of the London Wetlands Centre, which opens this month

OCCUPATION: project manager

AGE: 36

SALARY: approximately 30,000 [pounds sterling]

How did you become involved with the London Wetlands Centre? I have been working for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust for about ten years now. Previously, I was involved with developments all over the country, not just within the trust, but helping other organisations set up similar projects as well. As for the Wetlands Centre itself, I have been working on this project since it began in 1992, and have worked on site since late in 1995, when the development started.

What does your job involve on a day-to-day basis? My job has varied enormously as the project has progressed. At the beginning, my role was mainly that of a civil engineer. We had to break up an industrial area to be able to develop the wetland. We also had to build the visitor centre and bridges around the area. As the project has progressed, my job has become more diverse; my day now involves anything from deciding which colour we should have the toilet seats, to which reeds we should be planting, and where. Now that we are nearing opening time, I am busy preparing to hand over to the people who will be permanently running the centre.

Do you have to supervise many staff at the centre? I am in charge of a large team of people. At the moment around five or six people are planting and developing the landscape, and there are 25 to 30 contractors working at any given time. In addition to the project development team, there are now the education officers, and marketing and public relations people. (Ed -- you can read more about the centre in our feature.)

What do you like most about your job? I really enjoy the variety that I have on this project. There is a lot of stress but I love the challenge of trying to keep on top of things. The thing I like most is being able to walk around the site. As site manager, I get to live there. It's great to be able to get up on a Sunday morning and walk around by myself.

What do you like least? I don't like it when things don't go right. Also, at the moment this job is 12 hours a day, seven days a week, which makes a social life a bit difficult.

What are your ambitions? I would love to develop similar sites around the world. There are quite a few countries looking at creating sites in the middle of their cities, modelled on our centre in London. …

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