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Nature Scotland, Isle of Mull Tours, Wildlife Tours, How it all began

THE NATURE SCOTLAND JOURNEY


The Spark - How it all started?

Everything has led to this - the journey to now...

What are our future aspirations?

2010...

Ewan's natal area of Geltsdale (and bedroom!) looked right across the Solway towards Scotland, and that's where he wanted to be, following his family's roots back over the border...

 

He got an opportunity in 2010 to work for Sea Life Surveys on the Isle of Mull for a summer season. The main roles involved providing an education on the marine life to the guests and also contributing to data collection through sightings and photo ID work.

After work, the evenings did not involve the pub! It was straight out to the wilds, to explore the terrestrial areas of Mull and learn more about it.

Ewan would often take the SLS volunteers out to show them the evening wildlife around Mull and also help the SLS guests with their land-based wildlife plans.

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The Early Years...

Although most of Ewan's family hailed from north of the border in Aberdeenshire, Ewan was brought up in 'Hadrian's Wall country’, north east Cumbria. He was fortunate to be raised in the wild uplands of the north Pennines, on the second largest RSPB nature reserve where his father, John, was the conservation warden on the 12,000 acre site.

Ewan's childhood was spent exploring the local moors and swimming in the river Gelt. Sport was also a big interest growing up, including golf, cricket and football. Easy distractions on the local golf course, like watching Buzzards and Stoats, pointed the way to his main passion in life...  

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2015...

After 5 years working as a Wildlife Guide for Sea Life Surveys on the Isle of Mull, In November 2015 Ewan ventured into the world of self employment, establishing Nature Scotland on the island. He aimed to fill a few eco-tourism niches by providing half day family tours along with evening tours and a tour across to Ardnamurchan.

The photo is taken by his mum Thelma in 2015, with the new van as he sets off on his exciting new venture.

2016...

Along with establishing the day tours we managed to provide our first multi-day package expedition in the summer of 2016.

A suggestion by Welsh Naturalist Iolo Williams to collaborate on a Mull package was an opportunity I could not turn down!

Iolo worked with my dad John for the RSPB for a number of years so is a family friend. 

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2017...

Ewan and his father John started to provide five day package expeditions in other wild areas around Scotland. John was instrumental in establishing all of these package locations, creating itineraries and adding his valuable input from his decades of expert experience.

Locations included the Hebridean Isle of Islay to enjoy the huge abundance of wildfowl and bird diversity during the winter months.

Also we visited the Cairngorms for winter packages to search for species such as Crested Tit, Red Squirrels, Ptarmigan, Mountain hares and more!

It was also exciting to return to natal areas on the Solway Firth and provide packages there with John Miles as a father and son combo!

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2018/ 19...

The day tours on Mull and Ardnamurchan continued to evolve and expand over the next couple of years and we got honoured with three national awards in three years by SOLA - The Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards...

VOTED SCOTLAND'S BEST NEWCOMER 2017

 

SCOTLAND'S BEST OUTDOOR ADVENTURE EXPERIENCE 2018

 

SCOTLAND'S BEST TOUR EXPERIENCE 2019

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2020 / 21...

The 'covid years' were a real challenge for the business but we managed to survive the threats and learn from it.

We provided day tours with physical distancing restrictions while going off the latest gov guidance.

Tobermory based Naturalist Conor Ryan had his international work restricted in 2021 so we were delighted to have him work as a guide.

 

Also Rachel French guided for the season as we split groups into two vans to enable social distancing as per the covid regulations.

We continued to expand our package tour options and were excited to collaborate with Gordon Buchanan to provide a Wildlife & Media Mull Expedition in the summer of 2021.

2022...

We were extremely excited to now be in the position to offer more consistent nature-based work and voluntary opportunities this year.

We hired young Naturalists Jack and Theo as our seasonal guides from April - October and we also created two 4-week work experience opportunities to Indy Kiemel Greene in August and Joe Fryer in September.

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