Hugh Harrop

Hugh Harrop
Hugh founded Shetland Wildlife in 1992 after spells working for Fair Isle Bird Observatory, the Shetland Oil Terminal Environmental Advisory Group and the RSPB. He is regarded as one of Shetland's top birders and naturalists, is a regular contributor to several birdwatching magazines and journals and author of Where to Watch Birds in Shetland and co-author of the new 'Britain's Sea Mammals'. Although Hugh's main interests are birds and their identification, he also has a passion for all other aspects of natural history, especially whales and dolphins and Polar Bears! Hugh is also a feature writer for several European natural history magazines, an award-winning professional photographer whose work has been widely published in journals and newspapers throughout Europe and North America, photographic consultant to the journals Scottish Birds and Seabird, a former member of the Shetland Bird Club rarities and general committee, a former committee member of Scottish Wildlife Trust and a founder member of both Organisation Cetacea (ORCA) and the Shetland Sea Mammal Group! When not working in Shetland, Hugh guides our European overseas tours or travels extensively with his wife Michelle and daughter Cerys to exciting wildlife-filled and child-friendly destinations!

David Fairhurst

David Fairhurst
David's life-long passion for birding and wildlife led him to follow a varied career in conservation for nearly 20 years. Prior to working as a full-time naturalist guide for Shetland Wildlife, he was based at Minsmere in Suffolk, where he worked on several projects including the role of Senior Research Assistant for the RSPB's Bittern monitoring programme. Other posts in the UK have included stints with University of East Anglia studying Woodlarks in Dorset, habitat management at Abernethy Forest and species protection on Anglesey. His career has also taken him much further afield, undertaking research in Jordan and Israel and also working to restore fragile island ecosystems in the Seychelles. David is no stranger to tricky bird ID; he was a member of the Suffolk rarities committee for five years, and Suffolk's County Recorder for three years. His skills as a naturalist guide are matched by very few and he has quickly become an integral part of the Shetland Wildlife team.

Michelle Harrop

Michelle Harrop
Michelle originates from British Columbia, Canada. After gaining her degree in Geography at the University of Colorado, she worked in the North American eco-tourism industry for several years before moving to Shetland in 1999 - after meeting Hugh on a Polar Bear trip in Churchill! Her frequent travels in search of wildlife have taken her to locations such as Southern and Northern Europe, Antarctica, Botswana, Ecuador, Galapagos and the high Arctic regions of Canada. As well as being a mother to Cerys (who got Killer Whale on her list when she was two weeks old!), Michelle is our office manager and the driving force behind the successful day-to-day operations of Shetland Wildlife. When not working in our office, Michelle, Hugh and Cerys escape Shetland and travel to far-flung corners of the earth in search of exciting wildlife.

Tim Stenton

Tim Stenton
Tim hails from Derbyshire and his successful business career has taken him all over the world. As a biologist, author and photographer, he is never happier when on or near the sea (so he is pretty happy here in Shetland!). Tim's love of Shetland, his friendly manner, vast knowledge and infectious enthusiasm is apparanrt to all the guests that he gudies. Tim has spent most of the last few years based in Scotland writing and photographing for his first book 'Moray Firth Dolphins' which documents the lives of these enigmatic animals. He is also a major contributing photographer to 'Britian's Sea Mammals' authored by fellow Shetland Wildlife guides Hugh, Rob and Jon.

Judd Hunt Judd Hunt
Judd lives in Cardiff and is employed as a manager within the Civil Service. Judd has been an avid birdwatcher since 1979 and is a founder member of the Glamorgan Bird Club. Since his first trip abroad, to Canada in 1986, Judd has travelled much of the globe in search of new and exciting species and lists anywhere in South America, India and Europe as his favourite destinations. He developed a keen interest in cetaceans in the mid-1980s when he used to sail across the Irish Sea with Hugh in search of seabirds and still clearly remembers his first encounters with Fin Whales and Orcas! Since 2000, Judd has worked for our sister business, The Company of Whales and has lost count of the number of people he has guided across his favourite piece of ocean, the Bay of Biscay! Judd has also worked as a guide for Shetland Wildlife since 2002 and has travelled extensively within Shetland, Spain, France and Poland in this capacity. Although widely travelled, Judd still dreams of visiting the Antarctic Peninsula and the islands in the South Atlantic, hopefully as a guide for Shetland Wildlife or the Company of Whales!

Kate MacRae

Kate MacRae
Kate lives in Lichfield and is often known as 'WildlifeKate'. Having been obsessed with wildlife from an early age, Kate has combined her passion for the natural world in a variety of ways and now makes her living from her WildlifeKate business. Teaching 'Wild Learning' part-time in a large junior school in the Midlands, she passes on knowledge and learning to the next generation both through this work and consultancy in other schools across the country. Kate has regularly appeared on BBC Springwatch and Autumnwatch with her garden set-up of over 20 cameras monitoring everything from nest boxes to feeding stations. Kate is also the UK Ambassador for Bushnell and uses trail cams extensively both in her own patch, a 7 acre site in Worcestershire that she manages and around the country where she has recorded unique footage never captured before with a trail cams. Kate is looking forward to sharing her infectious enthusiasm and endless energy for wildlife with the Shetland Wildlife guests!

Harri Taavetti Harri Taavetti
Harri hails from Oulu, Finland and co-guides our adventures to both his homeland and northern Norway. Harri's wildlife career started in 1990 at the age of 14 and since 1997, he has been recognised as one of Finland's top birders and guides. As well as being a freelance naturalist guide, he also works as a bird survey specialist and is the Chairman of his local records committee. Harri is a keen and extremely creative photographer and in 2007 he secured two top-ten placings in the British Birds Bird Photograph of the Year (unforgivably beating Hugh!). Like most of our guides, pen-to-paper activities are an important aspect of the job and Harri has written several papers and identification articles for journals, magazines and books. Overseas travel has also featured in Harri's career and he has visited great birding destinations like Israel, Hungary, Spain, India and China.

Dr Jonathan Wills

Dr Jonathan Wills
Jonathan is the skipper for our trips to Noss and has been boating around the shores of Shetland since childhood holidays. Born in Oxford to a Lerwick mother, he's lived in Shetland for most of his adult life. Jonathan's an honorary warden of Noss National Nature Reserve, a former boatman to the Muckle Flugga Lighthouse, and wrote his Edinburgh University Ph.D. on the historical geography of Shetland. He was inspired to take up wildlife guiding by the late Bobby Tulloch, who taught him much of what he knows about seabirds, seals and otters - and how to get close to them. He's also a local councillor (one of the best we have!) and in the winter he undertakes bird and wildlife surveys for Aberdeen University and Scottish Natural Heritage and writes books for children!

Steve Sankey

Steve Sankey
Steve leads our tours in his adopted county of Orkney, where he has lived for a decade running his own wildlife tourism company and small organic farm. His farm is one of the few businesses in Orkney accredited with a Green Tourism Business Scheme Gold Award status. He keeps rare breed Shetland cattle so as a bonus, knows Shetland well too! As an islander on South Ronaldsay, he knows Orkney's moods and spaces well, and is seldom far from any action. Owing to his previous jobs with RSPB Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Scottish countryside ranger services, he has an all-round practical knowledge of Scotland's wildlife and is considered to be one of Orkney's cetacean experts. He also tries to blend Orkney's culture and landscapes with its wildlife in an attempt to understand how life has changed in Orkney over the millennia - he is justly proud of Orkney's 5,000 year-old monuments! Birds, however, have been his lifelong passion, and he has been birdwatching as long as he can remember. He is just as happy with complete novices as he is helping out with his routine survey work for raptor study groups or BTO schemes. A family man, he is teaching his son Sami his skills ("he's better than me already!") and his wife Sarah works for the RSPB in Orkney as their Conservation Officer.

Martin Kelsey OBE Martin Kelsey OBE
Martin lives with his wife, Claudia, and son Patrick in Spain running their superb guest house (which we stay at on our trip to Extremadura!) and enjoys showing visitors its wealth of birds and other wildlife, helping out on bird survey work, as well as looking after their garden and olive grove (and has an impressive garden list to prove it!). Martin started birding as a small boy in Essex in the sixties and since then has birded in five continents. Whilst studying ecology at the University of East Anglia, he took part in expeditions to the Caribbean and Kenya and then went on to the Edward Grey Institute for Field Ornithology in Oxford to complete a doctorate on Marsh Warblers. He subsequently spent three years studying birds in the Amazon rain forest with the British Ornithologists' Union, where he met Claudia. Returning to the UK, he worked for BirdLife International for five years, before joining Save the Children, spending four years living in Colombia and then four years in India, as well as a short spell in Ethiopia. He was awarded the OBE in 2001. A founder member and first Chairman of the Neotropical Bird Club, he has been an active member of bird clubs and societies everywhere he has lived.

Rob Still

Rob Still
Rob has had a keen interest in wildlife since childhood. Rob has travelled all over the world in search of wildlife, but has a particular fondness for South America. After obtaining a degree in Ecology from UEA he formed his own graphic design company, producing material for conservation bodies such as Butterfly Conservation, ORCA, and The Neotropical and Oriental Bird Clubs. Rob's artwork has appeared in such diverse places as a British Birds front cover and the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission in Nigeria! More recently Rob has been the driving force behind WildGuides - a publishing company specialising in wildlife guides that help raise funds for conservation. He has designed and co-authored books on Galápagos and British butterflies. He is responsible for co-ordinating both Shetland Wildlife's and The Company of Whales brochures and media design and is looking forward to some exciting new publishing projects with Hugh and David over the next year or so!

Dylan Walker

Dylan Walker
Dylan Walker is a professional field naturalist, conservationist and tour guide. Having completed a degree in Ecology, Dylan has been involved in a wide variety of conservation projects working with, amongst others, Koala Bears, Loggerhead Turtles and Laurel Pigeons. During the last few years, he has conducted cetacean and seabird surveys throughout the north east Atlantic from the Faroe Islands to the Canaries, and taken part in research projects on Pilot Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins. He has been heavily involved in whale watching and cetacean research in the Bay of Biscay since 1996, helping to set up ORCA (Organisation Cetacea) and co-ordinating sightings data collected by a network of volunteer observers. More recently, Dylan set up UK Cetnet, the country's first inter-active email discussion group on cetaceans and he is currently finishing off a new field guide to cetaceans in the European Atlantic. A combined appetite for wildlife and travel has taken Dylan to much of Europe, North Africa and Australia. His friendly personality, good sense of humour and unquenchable enthusiasm for nature make him an excellent and highly popular staff naturalist guide.

Nigel & Wendy Milius

Nigel and Wendy Milius
Nigel and Wendy married after meeting at Fair Isle Bird Observatory and now live in Wendy's home country, New Zealand where they guide wildlife-watching holidays during the Austral summer. For 'our' summer, they head north to work for us here in Shetland or in the Arctic, where they are employed as a wildlife lecturers and guides on board small cruise ships. Both are widely travelled with Chile, Argentina, Australia, Canada, the Falkland Islands, the Bering Sea, South Africa, China and The Galapagos featuring in their journeys. They both have friendly outgoing personalities and look forward to sharing their knowledge of - and enthusiasm for - the 'North' with our guests.

Mick Durham

Mick Durham FRPS
Mick has been a wildlife photographer for over thirty years, learning most of his skills in North Wales. He moved to Dumfries in Scotland just under 20 years ago and has enjoyed working with the huge variety of wildlife the country has to offer. Otters are one of his favourite subjects and he has spent hundreds of hours photographing them here in Shetland and along the west coast of Scotland. Like the rest of the Shetland Wildlife team, Mick loves travelling abroad for photography - and in particular to Arctic Scandinavia. A long stint there in the summer followed by trips to Finland, Lapland and the Varanger peninsula in winter culminated in him being awarded a highly coveted Fellowship by the Royal Photographic Society in 2013.