All round wildlife experience
John’s strength and specialism within parks, countryside and open space management is wildlife and habitat management. He is a naturalist at heart, a zoologist by education and a parks and countryside manager by profession, experience and training. What is unusual in his mix of skills is that although he is a keen naturalist and ecologist he has also been responsible for, directly managed or been involved in the management of most of the habitats you are likely to find in the U.K. That makes him a great all-rounder on the wildlife front.
As an experienced habitat surveyor he has a good working knowledge of British habitats and their associated flora. He is especially interested in heathland, coastal sand dunes and woodland.
His specialism is entomology and particularly diptera (flies). He has been involved in a dipteran research group in the past and still surveys them when he gets the chance. He is particularly interested in the generally small black ones that nobody else is bothered with. He is familiar with a wide range of other British insects and has run a moth trap for many years.
An already strong interest in mammals was developed during his time at university following some research on the social and territorial behaviour of shrews. He continues to keep up to date with new research on that and other mammalian issues, especially behaviour.
Although birds figured at an early age it was improved enormously by living almost continually on the Spurn Point National Nature Reserve for a year following his degree. He has continued that interest and gets out when he can. East Anglia is blessed with some amazing sites for birds and there is plenty to keep everyone interested, not just in the real hot spots like Minsmere and the coast.
European Protected Species
John does not hold any European Protected Species Licences. That is not his strength. He was working with some of these species before licences were invented and as his career progressed he would have found it difficult to justify re-training to do the fieldwork.