The Team

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The Team
Speyside Wildlife's small team really is the secret of our success. Enthusiasm, expertise and a sense of fun - they’ve got it! We know, and you tell us over and over again, that Speyside Wildlife's guides and behind the scenes logistics just can't be beaten.

Roy Atkins
We've known Roy for over 20 years. He's a great all-round naturalist and years of experience in the world of teaching have made him a great people person. Our guests travel with him again and again to far-flung places like Costa Rica, Hungary, Sichuan and British Columbia. His sense of fun and knowledge of birds, plants and animals make him a very popular leader.
Simon Eaves
Simon is one of Speyside's keenest birdwatchers. He knows as much as anyone about the wildlife of the Scottish Highlands and has a real interest in scarce birds, mammals and identification challenges - with him as your guide you'll learn a huge amount about Speyside. That doesn't stop him taking guests further afield for us however, to places such as New York City and Nova Scotia.
Craig Round
Craig loves Speyside and the Scottish Islands and has led tours in Scotland for over 20 years, taking our guests regularly to Mull, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides. He has a great combination of field naturalist skills, outgoing personality and incredibly sharp eyes; along with an astonishing knowledge of birds, mammals and insects.
Darren Rees
Darren is a great birder and quite simply fun to be with. He has led countless groups for us in Texas, California, Sri Lanka and Namibia. This year he will be taking guests to Arizona, Yellowstone, Nova Scotia and New Mexico. He is also a talented artist: 'Bird Impressions' is his acclaimed collection of bird paintings; he worked for 'Birds of the Western Palearctic' and he writes for 'Birds Illustrated'.
John Grierson
A native of Perthshire, John has lived in Aviemore for over 25 years. Prior to becoming a guide, John was involved in wildlife crime investigation throughout the Highlands and was able to use his extensive knowledge of birds and animals to great advantage. An enthusiastic wildlife watcher, he lists all creatures as favourites and therefore is a perfect choice for days out in the Cairngorms as well as holidays.
Duncan Macdonald
With nearly 20 years' experience leading wildlife watching groups in the Highlands, Duncan is spending more and more time taking our guests further afield to the Pyrenees, Yellowstone, Bulgaria and Extremadura. He has a background in environmental education and conservation, which gives him great guiding skills, as well as knowledge of a wide range of birds, mammals, butterflies and bugs!.
Julian Sykes
A native Yorkshireman, Julian now lives in Spain after several years in Scotland, so is the perfect guide to take you on our Andujar, Extremadura and Pyrenees holidays. Not that this stops him from leading tours to British Columbia, India, Estonia and Uganda. He has a lifelong interest in wildlife and his friendly outgoing nature makes him a very popular guide and ideal member of the team.
James Shooter
James is one of our youngest guides, but what he lacks in age he makes up for in knowledge and enthusiasm. He has a love of northern nature, with a particular interest in Scotland, Scandinavia and beyond. His keen fascination with the natural world is infectious and he'll ensure you have fun whilst searching for your target species.
Sally Nowell
Sally has travelled extensively to pursue her interest in wildlife watching, particularly birds, and has been based in Speyside for the last 22 years, so has an excellent knowledge of Highland wildlife. Sally is a keen walker and loves to try and get off the beaten track to discover the hidden corners of the Highlands. She has recently retired from a career working in the NHS.
Simon Pawsey
Originally from NE England, Simon now lives in Speyside and has had a love affair with the area all his life. A keen birder from a young age, he has travelled all over the Highlands and Islands seeking out the Scottish specialities. His extensive knowledge of birds and mamals, coupled with his enthusiasm, warm personality and sense of humour, ensure that you'll have a great experience with Simon as your guide.
Jack Ward
Since moving to the Cairngorms in 2010 Jack has lived and worked across the Scottish Highlands. Work has taken him throughout the Hebrides, the far North West Highlands back to the Cairngorms and further afield to places such as Andalusia and Costa Rica. He has a love of all things wild, with expertise in all UK deer species and birds, and loves to explore the relationships between wildlife and their environment. His enthusiasm for wildlife is rivalled only by his desire to share his wildlife experiences with others.
John Walters
A local from Kingussie, John gained his wildlife knowledge working with native species at the Highland Wildlife Park. at nearby Kincraig. He is therefore the perfect choice to guide you on our evening wildlife watching visits to our hide on the Rothiemurchus Estate for views of Pine Martens and Badgers.
Lou Hughes
Having grown up in the depths of Devon, Louise is a keen naturalist and has been working as a guide for the past three years in the Highlands and Islands. She has a passion for native wildlife and has been heavily involved in the national conservation project to save the Scottish wildcat. She is eager to share her knowledge about the natural world and landscapes that we explore.
Tim Drew
With 30 years' experience behind him, Tim is a passionate ornithologist and a keen all round naturalist who was born with 'binoculars around his neck'. He enjoys nothing more than exploring places in search for birds, butterflies and all other beasties and sharing his knowledge with others. He has a soft spot for the Scottish Highlands and Islands but has also travelled widely throughout Europe and Asia armed with his faithful binoculars and camera at the ready.
Sharon Cairns
One of our talented chefs; Sharon's food has won her great plaudits. She has produced many of the wonderfully irresistible culinary creations that have expanded waistlines over the years and also manages many of the day-to-day workings of the Steading for our Speyside holidays.
Alan Cairns
Alan can usually be found around the Steading looking after the vehicles that keep us all in comfort on the road. Alan helps out with such a multitude of things at Speyside Wildlife that the call most frequently heard is â€Å"Has anyone seen Alan?”.
Sally Dowden
Sally owns Speyside Wildlife and is still very much hands on in the organisation. Responsible for the smooth running and complex logistics of the business, she spends more time nowadays sharing best practice experiences with businesses from other parts of Europe, who come to Scotland to learn about wildlife tourism.
Lisa Gunn
Lisa has been with us for eleven years now and is responsible for all the accounting and systems management. Along with the daily accounting processes, company pensions, wages, budgets, contribution schedules and VAT, she organises the hide and vehicle logistics, all of which help to keep her busier than ever!
Susanne McCafferty 
Susanne has been with us for nearly eleven years. Born and bred in Speyside, she deals with all aspects of our Scottish holidays such as all the different trips to the Steading, plus Shetland, Orkney, the Outer Hebrides and Mull, as well as organising the day guiding in the Cairngorms and further afield.
Tania Pedersen
Tania is one of the voices you'll hear when you call our office. She deals with all aspects of administration to ensure you have all the information you need for your holiday. She shares responsibility for organising all our overseas holidays, dealing specifically with the complex logistics of the long-haul trips.

Cath Wright
Cath leads on our marketing and develops our increasing contact with guests through talks for bird clubs, plus our own events up and down the country. Her background in hospitality and marketing, means she is best placed to ensure we get to see as many of you as possible around the UK and she will often be your first point of contact.
Eliane Barton
Eliane started with us in 2016, having returned to her native Speyside with her husband and young daughter Skye. She shares the responsibility for our overseas trips and undertakes the administration of most of our short-haul holidays.
Viki Hughes
Viki, has recently joined us as part of the office team to cover maternity leave for Eliane. She will be assisting Tania with the administration of your holidays and undertaking the organisation of most of our short-haul holidays.