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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 25 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 such as Costa Rica, Tanzania, the Pantanal 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 Tarifa/Donana and the Isles of Scilly.

Craig Round
Craig loves Speyside and the Scottish Islands and has led tours in Scotland for nearly 25 years, taking our guests regularly to Mull, Shetland, Fair Isle 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 Arizona, Texas, California, South Africa and Namibia. This year he will be taking guests to Colorado, Yellowstone, Extremadura and Spitsbergen. He is also a talented artist: ‘Bird Impressions' is his acclaimed collection of bird paintings and his latest book ‘Ice Bound' follows his exploits in Antarctica'.

Julian Sykes
A native Yorkshireman, Julian now divides his time between there and Spain, 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, NE India and Wrangel Island. He has a lifelong interest in wildlife and his friendly outgoing nature makes him a very popular guide and ideal member of the team.

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 co-leads a number of our Scottish holidays.

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 of 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.

Kate Mennie
Kate grew up in North East Scotland and has had a passion for wildlife from a young age. Her first job involved combining childcare and forest school learning, before spending a summer volunteering with the ranger service on the Isle of Mull. Kate can be found leading our Guided Days Out in the Cairgorms and co-leading many of our Scottish Holidays.

David Hull
David has a background in education and his roles as a wildlife guide and conservationist benefit from his enthusiasm for teaching and lifelong learning. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of Scottish plants, birds, mammals and butterflies during our Day Guides and he also guides our Evening Mammal Watching and Badger Photography experiences.

Stuart Housden
Stuart started birding at the age of seven, becoming a regular at Dungeness from nine onwards, ringing migrants and exploring southern England. His passion for birds and nature led to a 41-year career with the RSPB, 23 years as Director of the organisation in Scotland - few people know Scotland as well as Stuart! Stuart has birded in over 50 Countries and is a trustee of a major conservation project in the Atlantic forest of Brazil.

Harris Brooker
Growing up around Banff in Aberdeenshire, Harris is a well-rounded naturalist with a wide interest in nature and a particular passion for wildlife, botany and astronomy. His fascination with wildlife has taken him all over Scotland and the wider UK as well as overseas to destinations such as Norway, Spain, Portugal, Florida, Canada and Sierra Leone and has plenty of aspirations to see more! Harris is our Evening Mammal Hide guide, based near Aviemore and you will also find him supporting our Wildlife Identification Courses and Guided Day Out.

Ailie Brown
Ailie grew up in the Highlands and has lived in Speyside for six years. She studied Zoology at Aberdeen University before interning at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve as a Grazing warden and more recently she managed the Tropical Butterfly House at Landmark, Carrbridge. Ailie has a great interest in bird watching and identifying wildflowers and butterflies too! Ailie leads on the administration of our Guided Days Out as well as guiding our local guests in the Cairngorms during their days out.

Wayne Gourlay
Wayne has been intrigued by the natural world from an early age and has a particular passion for Scottish wildlife. He studied Zoology at the University of St. Andrews and joined a summer long expedition in Guyana to monitor mammals such as Jaguar using camera traps. This interest in using camera traps to study wildlife has turned into an obsession, now having close to 30 cameras! Wayne can be found sharing his enthusiasm for flora and fauna on our Guided Days Out and at the Evening Mammal Hide.

Olly Slessor
Olly has been bird watching all his life, spending much of his youth birding along the Suffolk and Norfolk coast. He has travelled extensively in the UK and abroad in his pursuit of birds and has guided in Costa Rica and Ecuador. He is a licensed bird ringer, a skill that has allowed him to study birds closely at home and overseas, including Canada, Utah and Norway. He has previously worked as the Warden at several Bird Observatories and helped in the protection of rare Roseate and Little Terns at three colonies. An accomplished bird artist, he is also a keen wildlife photographer.

Jonathan Willet
Jonathan has been working as a wildlife guide for 25 years and has always worked up in the Highlands and Islands. He loves the opportunity to share the majesty of the wonderful wildlife we have with our guests and of course the stories that go along with! He is an all-round naturalist but specialises in dragonflies and can usually fit them into a conversation somewhere. Jonathan has worked with Speyside for over 12 years, guiding and also helping to develop our Wildlife Identification Courses and assessing the students during their final exam……. He also does an excellent imitation of an Eider Duck.

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 recently instigated a wildlife identification course, designed to fill the lack of ‘on the ground' identification skills in the Cairngorms, which is run by two of our wildlife tour guides.
 

Lisa Gunn
Lisa has been with us for over 14 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 over thirteen years. Born and bred in Speyside, she deals with all aspects of a selection of our Scottish and UK holidays, such as Orkney, Wales, the Scillies, Northumberland, 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, organising all our overseas trips, dealing with the complex logistics of the long-haul destinations, while still finding time to manage the European destinations.



Cath Wright
Cath leads on our marketing and deals with our design work, website and organises our guides to deliver presentations to bird clubs, various exhibitions at birding fairs, 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 also to handle our tailormade itineraries.


© 2019 Speyside Wildlife