Tag: Wildlife Tourism

Cold as ice…then a little ‘otter

by on May.12, 2011, under Sustainable Tourism

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.

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Going Wild and Taking Stock

by on Nov.20, 2009, under Photography, Tourism

Yesterday saw me doing a lot of travelling in some pretty dire weather (although thankfully not as awful as the events in Cumbria). First was a long journey up to Perth to attend the Wild Scotland annual conference. Luckily I was able to travel up to the conference with someone who was travelling even further to get there. The presentations on Scottish Wildcats, Deer-watching and a Tourism Survey in Scotland were all very interesting, but personally I thought the best part of the day was when the delegates were separated out into focus groups. Now, this isn’t usually something I would find too thrilling but, with wildlife tourism being a fairly well developed industry in Scotland it was an opportunity to hear the thoughts of the people that are at the sharp-end of it. The networking opportunities presented by attending the conference were a real bonus as well, and our ongoing planning for 2010 has been informed (for the better, we hope!) by some of the discussions I was involved in.

After Perth we had to negotiate the frustration that is the A720 at rush-hour…

Eventually, and just in the nick of time, we arrived at The Maltings theatre in Berwick for a presentation by Laurie Campbell, entitled ‘Taking Stock’. It was enthralling to sit and listen to a professional wildlife photographer describing how certain images were obtained…while projected on to the screen were some mouth-watering examples of his art. A very nice glass of red wine during the interval (ok, it was a plastic tumbler but that’s the only way they’ll allow you to take liquids back into the auditorium) was enjoyed while chatting with several friends, mainly wildlife and birdwatching photographers from various areas of Northumberland and the Borders.

I like days where everything is thought-provoking and inspirational.

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