Most of this blog is based on the management of a 1,600 acre hill farm near Castle Douglas, but in time it has grown to encompass other patches of moorland and rough grazing in a small area of Galloway. This is a particularly varied county, covering everything from vast, bare mountains to shallow plains of tidal estuary. This variety is reflected in this blog, and while the places where I work do not run in a continuous geographical spread, they work together to provide a good overview of the region.
The first years of this project were single-mindedly focussed on black grouse, but close examination of these birds revealed how nature is universally linked. It’s impossible to pick out a single species and study it in isolation, and my interest soon spread to all upland wildlife, particularly waders like curlew and snipe.
I am devoted to practical, hands-on projects which make a difference. I don’t have any conservation qualifications, and I supplement constant reading with personal, first-hand observation. I’m convinced that blisters do every bit as much (and perhaps more) for wildlife as doctorates and PhDs.
Everything I do on this blog is funded from my own pocket or by investment from friends and family. This gives me the freedom to work as I please, and I also benefit from being financially independent. Modern conservation funding can be horribly proscriptive, and continuing declines in wildlife show that the model is far from perfect. I get enormous value from my ability to follow up hunches and explore local solutions to conservation issues which vary across landscapes, watersheds and counties.