About Us

With 30 years’ experience in wildlife guiding, Speyside Wildlife has always been focused on our guests, ensuring the quality of their experience through the quality of our guides. Wildlife identification takes skill, but the perfect guide will not only know their wildlife, plants and habitats, they’ll be able to illuminate and interpret the landscape surrounding them. Our Wildlife Identification Courses are tutored by our guides, who are story-tellers and all-round field naturalists.

As well as our wildlife guides, we also have a fantastic and experienced admin team. Cath will be your point of contact during the course and will ensure your queries before and during the course are answered efficiently.

Nothing illustrates the success of these courses more succinctly than the feedback we’ve received from participants over the years. Below is just a flavour of that feedback.

Just the right balance of observation, discussion and different sites. Many thanks for an excellent programme – it really is life changing.” Karen MacEachern – 2018/19 ID course

I’d highly recommend this 2-day course to anyone interested in birds. I’ve learned lots and am looking forward to learning more.” Gill McMillan – 2019 Raptor Masterclass

Our Tutors

Roy Atkins

We’ve known Roy for over 25 years. He’s a great all-round naturalist and years of experience in the world of teaching have made him a great people person, so making him ideal as a trainer on our courses. He knows exactly how he learned to identify birds and mammals and therefore has the perfect approach to pass on that skill to others.

So many birds – very satisfying. Roy is a great tutor, trainer and guide.” Elspeth Blackshaw 2019/20 course

Excellent trainer! The theory in the classroom was complemented brilliantly by the field day.” David Hull – 2019 Wader Masterclass

Well delivered and much more in depth than I expected. Roy is a fantastic teacher!!” Dorothy Noble – 2019 Wader Masterclass

Have enjoyed the course over the last two years, and am leaving it with a great deal of valuable knowledge, which I am sure will only continue to grow.  My thanks to Roy and his teaching, his expertise is an invaluable asset to the course, and I found him to be friendly and approachable which in many ways is just as important. Jamie Neil 2021/22 course

Duncan Macdonald

With a background in environmental education and conservation in the Highlands of Scotland, giving him great guiding skills, as well as knowledge of a wide range of birds, mammals, butterflies and bugs, Duncan is also the perfect trainer to pass on all that knowledge in a fun, interesting and ultimately ‘successful’ way.

Huge thanks to Duncan for his time, commitment, infectious enthusiasm and incredible knowledge base. Judith Nott – 2017/18 ID course

Fantastic weekend – learned so much on the Saturday and due to that enjoyed Sunday so much. What great sightings we had! Emma Stephenson – 2019/20 ID course

Duncan’s tuition has been fabulous, tailoring it very well to all levels. Thank you!! Liz Mcgill – 2019 Raptor Masterclass

Jonathan Willet

Jonathan has been working as a wildlife guide for 25 years and has always worked up in the Highlands and Islands. He is an all-round naturalist but specialises in dragonflies and can usually fit them into a conversation somewhere. He has helped us develop our Wildlife Identification Courses and is our assessor for the students during their final exam

Harris Brooker

Growing up around Banff in Aberdeenshire, Harris is a well-rounded naturalist with a wide interest in nature and a particular passion for wildlife, botany and astronomy. Harris is our Evening Mammal Hide guide, based near Aviemore and you will also find him supporting our Wildlife Identification Courses.

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Our Training Venue

Speyside Wildlife Mammal Hide, Inshriach Nursery

For our Cairngorms National Park based courses, our classroom days are based within our Evening Mammal Hide, located in the old Inshriach Nursery Potting Shed Tearoom. The bright and airy classroom space benefits from wildlife feeding stations outside the large picture windows and the large nursery gardens. The grounds surrounding our classroom base provide a rich wildlife habitat for a variety of species, ensuring that during our breaks we can stretch our legs and enjoy nature.

For those wishing to combine a short break away with our Wildlife Identification Courses, there are two self catering cottages within the grounds.

people standing wildlife watching in gardens