Wild Days People
Wild Days Conservation was founded by Kathy Gill and Andy Jefferies. Both spent many years working for well-known conservation organisations developing conservation and research volunteering programmes in the UK and overseas.
They formed Wild Days Conservation to channel their innovation, experience and volunteering energy back into the UK.
“Having supported conservation abroad for so long we both felt that we wanted to use our knowledge to bring more resources and people into conservation work in the UK.
“And we want to have fun while we’re doing it – learning and working outdoors is such a joy that you don’t have to travel far to find the excitement of nature and wildlife.”
When Andy Jefferies was 17 he spent two weeks in a peat bog on a conservation holiday in Scotland. He loved it so much, he never looked back. Since then he has spent more than 20 years sharing his enthusiasm for nature conservation with anyone who’ll listen - and more importantly - join in. Before Wild Days, Andy worked extensively with The Conservation Volunteers (formerly BTCV) in many roles, eventually managing their international conservation holidays programme. Along the way, he gained a degree in Ecology and Conservation and an MSc in Forest Science.
Kathy is a co-founder and director of the multi award-winning Biosphere Expeditions, which has been taking volunteers to work in wildlife conservation around the world since 1999. She has worked and led on many projects monitoring and surveying wildlife, including extensive use of camera and live trapping work (although admittedly on somewhat larger animals than we are dealing with in the UK), all with the aim of managing and protecting wildlife more effectively. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Kate grew up in Cheshire and graduated with a degree in Rural Resources Management from the University of Wales. Since then she has led a varied and interesting life organising and leading conservation projects throughout England and the world. These include conservation projects and expeditions in Europe, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the Middle East for a variety of conservation organisations. She has also regularly led working holidays in the UK for The National Trust.
When not kayaking or biking the world, Kate lives a low-impact, off-grid lifestyle in a West Sussex woodland, where she keeps chickens and quail for eggs and rears her own pigs. Her other work includes garden design, specialising in sustainable and edible designs for small gardens, and freelance writing for Country Smallholding and Permaculture magazines.
Richard ‘Mono’ Wadey
Richard, known to most as Mono, is a keen and experienced wildlife conservation project leader. He's led many projects in the UK and in over ten countries overseas, including measuring crocodiles in South Africa and tracking giant pandas in mountainous bamboo forest in China. He is a keen naturalist and outdoorsman who lives in England's Lake District National Park. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of most things and is great at pub quizzes.
By day, Sue is responsible for waste and recycling services for the eastern English county of North Lincolnshire. In her spare time, she has developed extensive experience leading conservation projects in the UK and beyond for a range of different organisations. An enthusiastic environmentalist and lover of the countryside, Sue has an uncanny ability to make waste recycling glamorous and convince the most hardened cynics to start sorting their rubbish.
Jonathan has 25 years experience of ‘earthy’ topics. For a decade he has run his own ecological consultancy company in South East England, working with anything from wildflowers to barn owls but specialising in trees, bats and planning regulations. He teaches other professionals and has worked with volunteer and conservation organisations as a project leader both in the UK and abroad. He loves Albania, likes to play the devil’s advocate, has a skin like a rhino, walks like he’s been riding a rhino and has a habit of finding things we never knew existed.
Barry's enthusiasm for just about everything makes him a perfect Wild Days leader. Having given up a senior management career in industry, he threw himself into pursuing a range of environmental and social interests. When he's not leading Wild Days trips, he's running conservation projects with local organisations, holding First Aid courses and acting as a magistrate for adult and youth panels in his home city of Manchester.
Tony is one of the senior figures in the world of environmental volunteering. He has 32 years of experience in delivering environmental volunteer programmes on a community and national level, supported by a BSc degree in Ecology. He developed project leadership and training systems for the national environmental volunteering charity BTCV and literally wrote the book on volunteer management. He's also the director of a UK charity promoting green wood skills. Leading projects with Wild Days gets him out of the office and back to his roots.