Professionally speaking …
I run my own business as a professional proofreader. Proofreading is my second career, following more than 20 years working in nature conservation.
After completing an honours degree in Biological Sciences, I trained and worked with the Scottish Wildlife Trust for more than four years before I moved on to the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to spend six years delivering tree and woodland projects.
Subsequently, I spent 13 years with Dartmoor National Park Authority managing biodiversity projects, including a £1m experimental peatland restoration project. I collaborated with academics and their PhD and MSc students to deliver critical project research and set up biodiversity monitoring schemes, undertaking some surveys myself and working with specialist consultants on others. I have worked with most lowland and upland habitats, from blanket bog to veteran trees and urban wildlife gardens. And with a vast range of species: greater horseshoe bats, stag beetles, dormice, barn owls, tooth fungi, string-of-sausage lichen and many more.
Communication was key – always – and, as a result, I have a wide range of experience, including:
- project reports, funding bids, newsletters, magazine articles, websites, publicity materials, research papers and reports;
- editing, proofreading, working with proofs, designers and printers.
In 2015 it was time for a new challenge – to work for myself. I have always enjoyed the well-written word so I joined the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), and completed its Introduction to Proofreading course. I then continued with the Publishing Training Centre’s industry standard Basic Proofreading course (distance learning) to become a qualified proofreader. More advanced proofreading training culminated in full marks (ten out of ten) for the SfEP’s Proofreading Mentoring scheme. I have also passed the SfEP’s Copy-editing Headway online course. I am continuing with further training and skills development in order to provide the best and most up-to-date service possible.
My career in nature conservation means that I am familiar with the language of countryside managers, ecologists, natural environment scientists and advisors; as well as related ecological concepts, techniques, terminology, funding sources and project development – and a lot of Latin names! I can bring this knowledge to the range of writing about wildlife, environment and related science, so that it is as effective and influential as it needs to be.
My proofreading is not limited to nature conservation subjects, though. I love the variety of writing out there in the world, and the window proofreading gives me on different worlds, minds and imaginations. I would love to help you with yours.
When I am not working …
I enjoy walking with my dog in the Shropshire Hills. She likes wildlife as much as I do but tries to behave herself anyway, sometimes successfully. I enjoy sport – mainly as a spectator although I do play tennis. I enjoy the cinema and theatre tremendously but much less often than I would like. I have travelled widely, mostly to see wildlife in Africa, Asia, North and South America, Australia and occasionally Europe. I have trekked in the Himalayas, Atlas Mountains, Simian Mountains, northern Laos and the UK.
I occasionally read the odd book …