While supporting many conservation causes worldwide I am also a great believer in the maxim 'think globally, act locally'. The UK countryside is currently a pale shadow of its former self, with the populations of many species in freefall. I now rarely see Nightingales or Turtle Doves, and many once common butterflies and moths are vanishing almost unremarked. My main conservation mission is to help slow and hopefully reverse these frightening declines. One way I do this is to manage my own garden to attract as much wildlife as possible, using native species and creating specific habitats...
As a birder I am an active member of the British Trust for Ornithology. As well as gathering data from my Breeding Bird Survey square every spring for the last 20 years, I have carried out surveys for wintering plovers, woodcock, nightingales, tawny owls, peregrine falcons, woodland birds and beached seabirds. I have also spent a lot of time over the years helping with species counts at various bird observatories in the UK and Ireland, as well as a spell as a volunteer warden at Titchwell bird reserve in Norfolk. I am a member of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Butterfly Conservation.
As a teacher I organise major conservation-based expeditions every two years, with destinations so far including Iceland (four expeditions), the French Alps, Morocco, the Peruvian Amazon, South Africa, Sulawesi and Madagascar. I am currently planning a 2019 expedition to Dominica. Many of these trips are in collaboration with Operation Wallacea, and the 30-40 girls I take each time gather conservation data which is used directly in University research. During several years spent in Ireland I was the editor of the annual Cork Bird Report, and some of my other activities in recent years include making and erecting nestboxes in a local woodland (specifically for Spotted Flycatchers, a red-listed species in the UK), creating a wildflower meadow for bees and butterflies in my home town and running wildlife-sketching workshops to raise money for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
As well as supporting environmental causes through the AFC website I donate artworks for auction as part of the 'Sketch for Survival' programme, and painted six of the panels in the 'Silent Skies' mural.