Professionally speaking …
I run my own editorial business as a specialist professional 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 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. As part of this, I set up biodiversity monitoring schemes, undertaking some surveys myself and working with specialist consultants on others. 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 including greater horseshoe bats, stag beetles, dormice, barn owls, tooth fungi, string-of-sausage lichen, Deptford pinks and many more.
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, which became the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading in March 2020), 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 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 and the environment, and related science, so that it is as effective and influential as it needs to be. The natural world, including its human inhabitants, needs every voice and advocate to be heard loud and clear.
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. 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 …