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Meet the Wildstarts team

David profile pic


David's main expertise is in birds, having worked for BirdGuides and Rare Bird Alert, and as Assistant Warden at Dungeness Bird Observatory.

He regularly writes for Birdwatch Magazine and is a Wildlife Trusts ornithologist.

David has served the Sussex Ornithological Society as its Recorder, Swift Champion and a member of its rarities committee.


David holds a bird ringing (banding) license. His other favourite wildlife groups are butterflies, dragonflies, moths and mammals.

Susy Dixon-Jones


Susy is a seasoned all-round naturalist based in Surrey, with a professional background in conservation land management and ecological monitoring.


She has managed various nature reserves across southeast England.


Her passion is connecting people from all backgrounds with nature.


An experienced fieldworker, she specialises in ornithological surveying, as well as reptiles. Her other key areas of interest are butterflies and moths, dragonflies, mammals and plants, but she enjoys recording all species.

Ingrid profile pic


Wildlife and art are two of Ingrid's biggest passions.


She moved south from Edinburgh and graduated with a degree in illustration from Brighton University in 2015.


Since then, she has worked as a Teaching Assistant and run after-school wildlife clubs with Earth Calling.


A passionate all-round naturalist, Ingrid is particularly fond of fish, insects, wildflowers and mammals (especially lagomorphs!).

Matt Phelps


Matt lives in Pulborough, in the heart of the South Downs National Park.


He is an eBird data reviewer for Sussex and sits on the Sussex Ornithological Society rarities committee.

With a wide-ranging natural history knowledge alongside extensive birding experience, Matt leads a variety of Wildstarts tours.


Often found at Knepp, he also leads safaris at the famous rewilding site.


Always one for working outdoors, Matt has been a National Trust warden and ecology groundsman.

Nick Bond.jpg


Nick is an experienced birder and knowledgeable about a range of other wildlife found across the South Downs and Sussex, after moving down from Surrey over a decade ago.


Handy with a camera, he put his photographic eye to good use as Photographic Editor of the Sussex Bird Report for several years.


Nick keeps the Worthing Birding blog up to date with local sightings.

Marc Read


Marc runs our bird photography workshops and is an accomplished bird photographer, with his work regularly featuring in the pages of Birdwatch magazine.

He is based in Eastbourne and, as an active Sussex birder, Marc spends much of his time birding at sites like Beachy Head.

As well as Sussex, the Isles of Scilly is a favourite destination of Marc's, and he is found there every autumn.


Bentham is an honorary member of the Wildstarts team, often accompanying us to scout out new sites for our tours.


Her interests include digging, catching snowballs and running circles in the long grass.

She is friendly, sociable and loves children. Bentham is training to be a therapy dog and is happy to tag along on any of our experiences, if requested.


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