I have held a lifelong fascination for wildlife with vivid memories of collecting bugs in jars, scoping up pond life and poking dead things with sticks as a child. The Brighton Racecourse hillside was my hunting ground, where there was ample wildlife to explore.
Brighton was a fabulous city to grow up in fun, vibrant and cosmopolitan. A city where vegans come to retire, and everyone seems to champion animal welfare. It’s against this background I wanted to travel and see ‘exotic’ wildlife as my horizons grew. Almost as soon as I could work and earn money, I planned my first wildlife holiday to Kenya, a place of impossibly fantastic animals and wild adventure (and a little trepidation!).
The magic of this experience spurred me on to travel far and wide in pursuit of creatures only known from encyclopedias and wildlife films. In between I just about managed to carve out a career in working with ‘challenging children’. A career that was uplifting and soul destroying in equal measure but funded my thirst for wildlife and travel.
My self-taught knowledge of British Wildlife then led me into voluntary survey work for the RSPB, Bat conservation Trust, Vincent Trust, British Butterfly Conservation and funding raising for many wildlife charities. Eventually my interest led me to return to university and study a host of courses including British Cetaceans, Biological Field Studies and finally a degree in Environment and Conservation. During my degree years I focused on my passion for butterflies and studied the fluctuating populations of butterflies on the South Downs and enjoyed tracking the spread of species such as Silver-spotted Skipper, but also alarmed at the decline of some much-loved species. I continue to volunteer to help restore habitat and conserve our diminishing populations.
With my shiny new qualifications, I started to look to change my career and stumbled upon leading tours for wildlife holiday companies, which seemed to fit my profile of interests for travel, animals and of course people.
Over the ensuing years I have now led many butterfly tours to Europe including Hungary, Croatia, Romania and Greece and also enjoyed learning to identify butterflies in some more exotic locations. I have had the opportunity to unravel some of the myriad species of butterflies in the Americas, ‘glasswings’ being a particular favourite. I also very much enjoy sharing knowledge with others and happy to learn from people as well as guide and teach others.
Over a decade later I have had some amazing experiences with wildlife in incredible locations and met some extraordinary people that I have enjoyed their company and learnt from. I am hoping to continue for another decade or two!Back