Molly Birchmore

Profession:
Elephant Conservation

My Hartpury experience

I came to Hartpury to study A Levels and indulge in my passion for rugby – I always knew it was the best place for me to pursue my love of sport alongside my studies. Being on the AASE programme in women’s rugby gave me access to top quality coaching. After a visit with some of my teammates from Stow girls’ squad back in 2008, where we were lucky enough to attend a training session led by Graham Smith and Graham Rowntree, I knew this was the place for me.

I left Hartpury in 2014 after finishing my A Levels then I had an amazing experience working with elephants in India after I finished my studies. I know it's not the most obvious progression from the rugby AASE but elephant conservation is something I’ve always been passionate about and I was keen to pursue this interest upon leaving Hartpury.

My adventures beyond Hartpury

I got bitten by the travelling bug and have so far visited 24 countries - all the while blogging about my adventures. My great passion is for Asia and it was in Thailand that I first volunteered at an elephant sanctuary. When I left Hartpury, India was the first port of call and there I was fortunate enough to work with world renowned elephant vet Dr Rinku Gohain. I spent six months in one of the most colourful countries in the world and learned invaluable lessons along the way.

Now I am living and working in Nepal, which I came to via Thailand where I had sought out as much elephant related work experience as I could. Back at home I got to stretch my legs (albeit not on a rugby field) when I ran 15km through London dressed as an elephant. Then I decided to take the plunge and emigrate to Nepal to work at Tiger Tops Lodge where my role as a Guest Relations Officer lets me combine hospitality with educating myself and others about all things elephant.