Firstly thank you for taking the time to look at my website. I am 24 years old and have an interest (some would say obsession) with many areas of natural history but am gaining a particular interest in insects and plants, especially pollinators and the plants they pollinate! I started out my natural history journey by taking photographs of the wildlife I found in my garden. At the age of 16 I started taking better quality photographs of wildlife with a digital SLR camera which opened up a new world to me. This led me to wanting to identify the species I was finding initially in my garden before exploring elsewhere. My photos are now used for a wide variety of purposes to connect the public with the natural world and inspire them to protect it. You can find out more about my photography work here
A few years ago I started listing the species I had seen anywhere in Britain and discovered Pan Species Listing where participants compete to see as many species as possible. This meant I had to learn to identify more than just birds! I now can identify species in a wide range of taxonomic groups and have recorded over 2400 species in Britain. I have now submitted over 18000 records of around 40 taxonomic groups enabling a better picture of the distribution of species in Britain. Some of these records have been new for the county where I live, Buckinghamshire. My ethos is that we will not save what we do not love and we cannot save what we cannot identify. Therefore I take it upon myself to learn to identify as many species as possible. I spent 3 years obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Reading in order to increase my knowledge of the natural world and am now looking to put this knowledge to good use in order to aid the conservation of wildlife in Britain. My final year project looked at using grass free lawns in order to attract pollinators and to create corridors for pollinators to make space for nature and connect up nature reserves. This enabled me to develop a knowledge of the identification of plants and pollinating insects. This work is due to be published in due course.
“We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well – for we will not fight to save what we do not love” – Stephen Jay Gould
I currently run a project for the Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre encouraging and supporting biological recording within the county. It is great to bring my skills to a new county. Previously I was an entomology intern with Buglife and Natural England, specialising in saproxylic beetles and fenland carabids and staphylinids. Before this I worked for Buckinghamshire County Council as an ecologist. I worked on planning applications, generating records and increasing public engagement with biodiversity and planning legislation in Buckinghamshire through developing the website for the ecology department of my local county council. Apart from recording wildlife I also enjoy getting involved with a vast array of practical conservation work in order to improve my local area for wildlife including working on Wildlife Trust and National Trust sites. I have also done some freelance consultancy work informing management decisions on nature reserves, charity projects and surveying development sites. I have also helped set up and implement 4 national Garden Bioblitzes helping to generate thousands of useful biological records and encourage many people to start biological recording, even if it is just recording a few species in their gardens. As part of this work I helped filter and validate thousands of records, refining my identification and communication skills. For more information about the Garden Bioblitz please see here. I am also an active member and supporter of many societies including Buglife, the RSPB, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Butterfly Conservation, the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT). I also have developed social media skills and now really enjoy sharing my passion with others through my blog, Twitter and Facebook. I also help update and expand the content of the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society’s Facebook page, to promote the survey, identification and documentation of British aculeates. I am very lucky to live near the Chilterns and love nothing more than taking my dog for walks in the rolling hills and chalk grasslands.