Natalie joined the Trust as our Marine Ranger in April 2019.   Working aboard Scillonian III, two days a week, introducing visitors to our Islands to all things wild both on the journey across the water and with ideas of what to do during their stay.

I’ve had an obsession with wildlife and the natural world for as long as I can remember, having spent much of my childhood hiking in The Lake District or on blustery beaches in Cornwall!  My first job at 14 years old was as a Livestock Assistant on a rare breeds farm, caring for the animals and performing speeches to the public about the breeds we housed there.  I’ve always had a passion for science communication and am driven by getting people interested in wildlife and the natural world to encourage them to conserve it!

I moved on from the farm to study a degree in Zoology at Newcastle University, during which time I was lucky enough to travel to the Sakaerat Najas Project in Thailand, where a dedicated team work to collect data on the grossly misunderstood King Cobra.  Throughout the course of my degree I was afforded numerous rewarding opportunities to work in the field, including surveying small mammal species in Kielder Forest, and species identification on the Farne Islands.  I worked part-time throughout my studies, including in an educational role at The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, and even as a Face Painter at Chester Zoo! 

Following my graduation, I fell ill with a rare waterborne eye condition, Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK), which caused me to lose the majority of the sight in my left eye and culminated in requiring an emergency cornea transplant.  I was determined not to let my condition stop me, and moved on to study a Masters in Wildlife Filmmaking at UWE Bristol, in partnership with the BBC Natural History Unit.  I produced my film “Water Born” on the Isles of Scilly, following my journey through AK.  Alongside the wonderful UH Bristol NHS Trust the film has helped raise valuable awareness for the condition, and I hope will encourage people to become organ donors!  “Water Born” is also how I first met the brilliant Ranger Team and fell in love with the islands. 

When a position to work with the Trust arose, I jumped at the opportunity and was lucky enough to get the job as Marine Ranger!

I love:  Being out and about in nature, especially with my camera filming and photographing wildlife and the landscape.  I have always loved the outdoors, but after having spent so many months stuck inside in dark rooms due to my eye condition, I appreciate the beauty in everything even more now!

I hate:  Rudeness – it costs nothing to be friendly and nice to people, and a smile is contagious!  You never know what other people may be going through and how much they may need your kindness!

My favourite place in Scilly:  The Eastern Isles because of their mischievous resident grey seals, and St. Martin’s for its sheer beauty and tranquility!

The animal I'd most like to see in the wild:  This is so difficult to narrow down – there’s so many!  I’d say it would be between an Ethiopian wolf; a blue whale; and an orangutan (Bornean or Sumatran – either would be equally amazing)!