On Tuesday I had a very enjoyable evening at Doxford Hall; meeting a group of tourism and trade delegates from Iceland and talking to them about ‘best practice’ in wildlife tourism. Cold, northern countries have always appealed to me (one factor in my decision to leave Arizona in May 2000 was the daytime temperature), so it was fascinating to listen to the group describing how wildlife tourism in Iceland is developing. That we were able to do this over dinner (which was excellent) made it a fairly informal Q&A, with lots of ideas shared and explored about the development of wildlife holidays, client requirements, the importance of local knowledge, the benefits of networking and the effects of the global financial crisis.
Another enjoyable part of the evening was the chance to catch up with David Hunter again. I first met David just after we launched NEWT, when he was still at Matfen Hall and I went along to tell him what we were doing. At that time we were a fledgling business and didn’t have any real idea where it would go, or how it could develop. Three years down the line, and we’ve got a better idea (to the point where I’m invited to describe best practice to overseas delegates), although there’s a lot of development still to come! With David now running Doxford Hall it will surely continue developing into an outstanding venue, and we’re looking forward to working with him in the future.
Yesterday evening was a more typical one for myself and Sarah; scattering Coots, nervous geese, a hissing Mute Swan and the familiar, sinuous, twisting, turning and swirling of an Otter feeding in front of us.