Meet the team
We’re very lucky to have such a multi-talented, and very dedicated, team working here on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area across Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire! Let’s introduce you to them…
Team Leader Ann
Ann is super-passionate about nature, having a background in farming, Natural England and early years education. She leads the team, inspiring them to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with people of all ages. Heathlands are amazing and she hopes to get you excited about them and helping to protect them for future generations.
Data Analyst Daria
Data supremo Daria’s enthusiasm for birds and fieldwork is contagious! With impressive expertise, she’s making her mark here as she helps to shape the direction of our nature conservation strategy.
Dave’s previously worked for the Wildlife Trusts, managing the heaths of the Special Protection Area. Well acquainted with the amazing wildlife found on our local heathlands, he knows just how lucky we are to have these beautiful areas on our doorstep. He’s delighted to be spreading the word about our three rare heathland species: the Dartford warbler, woodlark and nightjar!
Since joining us last year, after graduating from Bristol University with a degree in Biology, Flo’s enjoyed injecting more than a little artistic flare into our downloadable resources. Check them out and create your own #HeathlandAtHome!
Henry’s returned for another summer on the heaths and is all geared-up to bring you the latest news about fire risk and fire prevention. As the climate changes, wildfires are likely to become an ever increasing problem. Heathlands are particularly vulnerable because heather, gorse and grasses are highly flammable, providing perfect fuel. #BeWildFireAware!
Finding his first slow worm, aged 8, inspired a passion for wildlife and the countryside that took Jamie into a career as an ecologist. His work has taken him as far afield as rural Madagascar, but also closer to home, where he’s had fantastic opportunities to work on our Special Protection Area. He’s so excited to pass on his love of this unique place and if you haven’t followed his series about native reptiles, you’re in for a treat.
One half of the successful Facebook group Heathland Hounds, where Jo brings you dog-related news from around the Thames Basin. Her favourite patch is Caesar’s Camp. In spring you’ll often find her here, listening out for the beautiful song of the woodlark. Jo’s fascinated to learn more about these picky birds that will only nest on very open ground. Do stop for a chat if you see her, she’ll be glad to tell you if she’s heard one lately.
Education & Engagement Officer Michael
Michael absolutely loves nature and considers himself fortunate to spend so much time with local schools, and community groups, sharing #OurAmazingHeathlands. From getting groups out to the heaths, to taking assemblies or leading guided walks, every day provides an opportunity to connect someone with something magical. If you’re a teacher or group leader interested in finding out about local wildlife, do get in touch.
I’m sure at least a few of you will know Mike, our longest serving warden, he’s been with us since wardening began at Ockham Common in January 2015! A historic moment for us! If you’ve been on one of our guided walks, chances are it was led by Mike, and if so, I’m sure you enjoyed a tale or two from his mine of information!
Nick enjoys sharing his passion for the countryside and its extraordinary wildlife. You may have followed his wonderful series Birding Beginnings, getting to know the birds of our Special Protection Area. If not, check it out on our blog and join Nick on his journey
Some of you may know Nicky from Heathland Hounds! If not, do check out our fantastic Facebook group, where she and Jo are sharing fun and information for dog walkers. It’s THE place to hear about new dog-walking venues in and around the Thames Basin.
Whether working for the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust or conducting his university dissertation, Rob has gravitated towards heathlands. Not surprising when you experience rare and exciting wildlife such as the nightjar, or adder, or enjoy the amazing purple and yellow flowering of the heaths in late summer. He’s very much hoping to be able to explore our Special Protection Area and to share it with visitors this summer.
Here’s Rupert with wardens Flo and Dave. If you’ve ever wondered why you see grazing animals across our Special Protection Area, Rupert’s your man. Read his series investigating the history of heathland grazing on our blog to find out more.
Communications Officer Sarah
Sarah counts herself very lucky to spend so much time in interesting and beautiful places across our Special Protection Area. Her passion is sharing stories from the heaths through social media, our website and at events such as Heath Week.