North Sutherland Wildlife Group was formed in 2017, and originally called Tongue, Melness & Skerray Wildlife Group.
Assynt Field Club, particularly Andy Summers and Ian Evans, were integral in setting up the group, along with Abigail Rhodes, who was a founder member. We are very grateful for their vision and input.
The group’s original aims were:
- To help consolidate wildlife records for Tongue Parish, as part of Sutherland Biodiversity Action Plan (now part of Highland Nature: The biodiversity action plan for 2021 to 2026).
- To produce a leaflet about wildlife around the Kyle of Tongue.
- To set up a community Facebook group.
Interest and enthusiasm for wildlife of the region has grown, with our Facebook group now exceeding 800 members in 2023. Our original aims have been achieved and we are now tackling the gap in wildlife recording in the whole of north Sutherland. North Sutherland Wildlife Group obtained charity status in 2020, enabling development of the group to provide more events and education opportunities.
What We Do
Our volunteer committee is made up of local, keen wildlife enthusiasts. If you’re interested in getting more involved then please get in touch. We are a friendly group and will welcome you aboard!
Read a bit about us below:
I was an Art Teacher for nearly 40 years and am now a practicing artist exhibiting locally and farther afield. My original interest in wildlife started with birds; I had a bird-watcher friend in the RSPB North Ayrshire Group so I joined too. One of my jobs after moving north permanently in 1991 was Education officer with the first Peatland Project based at Forsinard – an amazing place, and a great job. I was also involved in the early days of the Highland Biodiversity Group. Flowers, animals, insects have now joined birds in my observations. Where I live in the far north is surrounded by wildlife, a constant source of entertainment and interest.
I visited north Sutherland as a child and was smitten by the landscape and wildlife. After a career in conservation in England and Wales, I finally moved to Melness in 2021. Main interests are wild plants, especially orchids, and I’m learning more about lots of other things from moths to molluscs! The more I learn the more I realise I don’t know… I find the ever-changing moods and colours of the landscape a source of inspiration and solace.
I was drawn to the natural world from an early age, watching rats play in my local river as a young child and collecting caterpillars and grasshoppers in the fields behind my home. Always striving in adulthood to create the perfect wildlife garden habitat, nature has been the foil to my occupation as an accountant, and probably the reason I have remained relatively sane over the years. As Treasurer for NSWG I have found the perfect fit, I am also kept busy as group, and county butterfly recorder. My greatest interest is all things pond related and anything currently crawling around my garden with more than two sets of legs.
I am a crofter and basketmaker in Skerray at The Wild Croft. I love exploring uses for our local native plants and try to go out foraging as much as I can. I’m also fascinated by the world of fungi and love spending time in our local woodlands.
I studied Applied Biology at college and worked as a walks leader for Northumberland National Park. My main interest is a better understanding of my local patch. Currently, I’m trying to increase my poor knowledge of the mind-boggling world of insects, especially hoverflies, dragonflies and moths; it’s a slow process but very enjoyable!
I’ve been living on the beautiful north coast for four years now and can often be found with binoculars somewhere around Sandside Bay. Spending time in wild spaces, walking, watching wildlife and sea swimming are some of the things I love to do.
From my very early years I remember a keen interest in all things to do with wildlife and nature. The birds in the garden were of particular interest and were frequent subject matter for sketching with coloured pencils. We were fortunate to have a large garden surrounded by open countryside and a pond which was a haven for newts, water boatmen etc. Nothing much has changed over the decades that have passed by one after another. No formal education in these matters, but the urge to record the beauty that surrounds us through the medium of photography has grown and become a daily part of my life.
I have been interested in the natural world since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I studied Marine Biology and Coastal Conservation, and worked both as a Lecturer and within industry. I dabble a bit with photography and wildlife filmmaking and do wildlife watercolours and sketches from time to time.