Sorrel Lyall

Ripple Project Officer

Sorrel is responsible for delivering BTO’s pilot community-based nature engagement project in Northern Ireland, called Ripple NI. The Ripple NI project aims to reach out to new people to engage them in their local wildlife and introduce new, more diverse audiences to biological recording of birds and other taxa. The project seeks to promote the wellbeing and community benefits of observing, appreciating and monitoring the ecosystems on our doorsteps.

Interests & Responsibilities

Before joining BTO, Sorrel studied for a BSc in Ecology at the University of Edinburgh, where she worked as a temporary field assistant and in field course demonstrator positions. At university, Sorrel co-founded the Edinburgh University Ornithological Society and was the society’s President. It was in this volunteer role that she realised her passion for nature engagement work and learned how rewarding this work can be.

Sorrel has had a keen interest in birds and other wildlife from a young age and has taken part in BTO volunteer surveys and moth trapping for several years. She is a trainee ringer and has worked spring seasons at Ottenby Bird Station in south Sweden and North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory in Orkney. Sorrel also enjoys wildlife illustration and paints birds using pencil and watercolours.

Increasing diversity in the nature sector is very important to Sorrel, and since 2020 she has campaigned for greater action on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in the birding and conservation world. As EDI is integral to the Ripple Project, Sorrel is looking forward to trialling novel ways of engaging new audiences and inspiring them to discover their local wildlife.


BSc Biological Sciences (Ecology honours), University of Edinburgh, 2018-2022

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