Professionally speaking …
I run my own editorial business as a specialist copyeditor and proofreader. Editing is my second career and follows 24 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 undertaking biodiversity projects, including a £1m experimental peatland restoration project. I collaborated with academics and their PhD and MSc students to deliver critical project research. As part of this, I set up biodiversity monitoring schemes, undertaking some surveys myself and working with specialist consultants on others. I communicated in writing and in person (talks and walks) to local people, specialist groups and school children. For a glimpse into my work as an ecologist you can see me at work in this short film from 2011 about the Dartmoor Mires Project.
I have worked with most lowland and upland habitats, from blanket bogs to veteran trees and urban wildlife gardens, and with a vast range of species as diverse as the greater horseshoe bat, stag beetle, dormouse, barn owl, tooth fungi, string-of-sausage lichen, Deptford pink and many more.
In 2015 it was time for a change. I have always enjoyed the well-written word so I joined the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP, which became the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading in March 2020), and began my training to become a qualified proofreader, culminating in full marks (ten out of ten) for the SfEP’s Proofreading Mentoring scheme. I have also passed the SfEP’s Copy-editing Headway 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! This means that I can help writers decide on the kind of language that will best suit their readers and their message to help ensure that every voice for nature is communicated effectively.
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. 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 Europe. I have trekked in the Himalayas, Atlas Mountains, Simian Mountains, northern Laos and the UK. In recent years I have limited myself to the UK which has an immensely varied landscape full of overlooked wonders.
I occasionally read the odd book …