How more of us are leaving screens behind to work outdoors

David Rochefort says the pandemic made him want to do “something astronomically different” with his life.

Before coronavirus arrived, the 34-year-old worked in IT in Bristol. It was a secure, well-paid, office role, but he found that his enthusiasm was dwindling.

“My body was restless from sitting all day, but I was mentally exhausted,” he says, looking back. “I became stressed and wired. I’d go to bed at 2am, and not want to get up in the morning.”

When the lockdown was announced, Mr Rochefort found himself confined to his home. “Suddenly, I had no interaction with my co-workers, which I realised was the main reason I was doing the job.

“So, I quit with no plan at all… but I knew I wanted to leave the screen behind.”

Realising that he would like to get a job working outdoors, Mr Rochefort started volunteering at a wetland wildlife reserve. The site in question – Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire – is owned and run by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.

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