Guide Profiles

Jay Knight

Jay Knight resized SmallJay has had a lifelong passion for wildlife and adventure and has recently reinforced his knowledge with a first class BSc with honours in Wildlife and Practical Conservation. Jay has developed an in-depth knowledge of the birds and mammals of Europe, Central America and Africa and is acutely observant in the field. Few things pass him by undetected!  Jay is also the director of EcoSpeed, a unique logistics company in England aiming to be one of the world's first carbon neutral couriers. EcoSpeed also partners with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust in projects to improve nature reserves in the North West of England. Jay firmly believes that the big corporations of the world can be doing much more to aid conservation as they are some of the biggest contributors to its demise. With EcoSpeed and Trek, Jay hopes to lead by example and hopefully spark a positive trend within business and hopefully unlock the huge pot of money that lies within industry and manufacturing.

Michael Willett

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Michael is a naturalist guide with a particular obsession for the flora and fauna of Europe with over 25 years of wildlife watching under his belt. He has a wholehearted excitement for everything natural and gain immense pleasure from sharing these experiences whilst on tour. Michael has extensively travelled the UK and has in-depth knowledge of the wildlife that inhabits the countries of England, Scotland and Wales. In the past he has volunteered for the RSPB and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and has recently received a first class BSc (hons) in Wildlife and Practical Conservation. He has been trained in plant identification through the Field Studies Council. Although Michael is currently enjoying and excelling in further studies, he loves nothing more than being out in the field. It's where he feels at home.

Ollie Mackrill


Ollie's lifelong interests in ecology, natural history and conservation have fed his thirst for knowledge on the ecological diversity of life on earth. He has extensive field skills developed over ten years of interest and practice in visiting upland, sub alpine, tropical, British broad leaved woodland and Scottish Highland habitats. His studies have included a degree in Applied Zoology, a Bsc in Ecology and Conservation and an MSc in Conservation Biology. He has a wide range of experience working with wildlife such as relocating big game for Kalahari Game services in Botswana and Zimbabwe or reinstating habitats in the UK for the Wildlife Trust. His latest quest has been for Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation as a bird surveyor and teacher in the East Aegean Sea before which he worked as a Land Management and Conservation Advisor for Natural England. His scientific research has involved subject areas ranging from cheetah conservation in Namibia and Botswana, work on the South Peninne Moor's threatened breeding bird assemblage and also in the Mediterranean monitoring coastal wetland habitats through the assessment of migrating bird species' population abundance and distribution.
His curiosity has led him to travel throughout the world from Polynesian islands, South eastern Africa, Australasia, Central America and he has spent time living in Taiwan as a qualified teacher. Never shy of a conversation and always willing to share his thoughts, Ollie's infectious enthusiasm for the natural world will turn any spark of interest you may have in to a raging inferno.

Simon Lees

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Si has a BSc (hons) in Animal behaviour and welfare and is a former lecturer at Myerscough college. As a lecturer in animal related studies he tutored level 3 up to BSc degree students sharing his knowledge and experience on a range of subjects which include; animal behaviour, animal health and animal handling. His main area of interest lies within mammalian behaviour, wild and domestic, and over the years has developed a great skill base and reputation in dog training. Si has a lifelong passion for wildlife and the great outdoors and spends a lot of time off the beaten track finding and photographing wildlife. He is a proficient guide and has led trips across Africa and Europe. He is an Ethologist by trade and loves nothing more than studying and observing animals, and sharing his knowledge on how animals interact with eachother and their natural environment.

 William Altoft

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William had always had a casual interest in wildlife and the natural world, with a particular attraction to big cats. However, it wasn’t until 2009, while volunteering with a lion conservation organisation in Zimbabwe, that the full complexity of conservation and the true marvel of nature turned it into a passion. He has recently completed and received a first class Bsc (Hons) degree in Wildlife and Practical Conservation, and in that time has expanded his knowledge far beyond big cats, including becoming more acutely aware of the human aspect. Having gained some voluntary experience teaching in the UK, William headed back to Zimbabwe one summer during the degree to teach about wildlife and conservation in rural schools, with an organisation called Children & Nature Conservation Zimbabwe Trust. It was this experience, as well as a final year dissertation on science communication, that highlighted the importance of people within conservation. He now intends to learn more about education and development, in order to bring them together with wildlife and practical conservation, for a holistic approach to the problem of reconciling our lives with the natural world. See Williams WordPress account here

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