BTO Youth Representatives

The BTO Youth Representatives are part of BTO's wider Youth Engagement Strategy, which has been developed by the Youth Advisory Panel. The Youth Representatives work on engaging more young people in nature and science in their regions through organising events and working with local communities and stakeholders. We hope to expand the Youth Representative network to include more of the UK as the project grows. 

Get in Contact

Make contact with a Youth Representative in your area.

Email youth@bto.org

Alice, 20, Cornwall

Alice is a second-year Zoology student at the University of Exeter in Cornwall. She volunteers for a range of different UK wildlife charities in Cornwall and Essex, with a special interest in cetaceans and bats. She has been privileged to travel the world with her family which she believes has given her first-hand insight into the numerous environmental issues we face as a planet. As an aspiring conservationist, she has always been particularly drawn to birds. She started bird ringing in the summer of 2020 and is now working towards her C permit. One of her favourite UK bird species has to be the Crow – their intelligence gives them a comical attribute as they work out different situations.

Alice is part of the Cornwall Youth Representative team, along with Kate and David.

Belinda, 23, Norfolk

Belinda is a graduate of Bangor University, having completed a 4-year degree in Environmental Conservation. She was lucky enough to spend her second year studying in Bergen, Norway and also completed a placement year at Blakeney Point and Titchwell Marsh as well as in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. She is now training to be a teacher in the hope of engaging more children with nature both inside and outside of the classroom. Her interest and enthusiasm for the natural environment have stemmed from being raised in rural Herefordshire and spending the majority of her free time surrounded by nature, whether this is by hiking, paddle boarding, or running. She can’t wait to work with BTO to enthuse others about wildlife and inspire future generations to get involved with conservation work.

Benjamin, 21, Northern Ireland / Bangor

Benjamin is a 3rd-year zoology with animal behaviour student at Bangor University in North Wales. His passion has always been birds and trying to convince people how amazing they are! He is most happy when he's volunteering with the WWT at their Castle Espie reserve. As a BTO Youth Representative, he is most excited about getting young people to realise how amazing the wildlife and particularly the birds in this country are!

Carla, 22, Kent

Carla is a Zoology student at the University of Exeter Penryn Campus in Cornwall and is currently on a placement year at Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory in Kent as a Voluntary Assistant Warden. She is a keen birder, as well as a big fan of moths and butterflies, and loves nothing more than getting out and looking for birds and Lepidoptera. Since being on placement at Sandwich Bay, she has begun bird ringing and has spent a lot of time improving her bird ID and knowledge. She has an affinity for Jays as it is her middle name, and they are gorgeous birds!

David, 19, Cornwall

David is studying Conservation Biology and Ecology at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall. He is a keen birder and naturalist, and enjoys volunteering for the Wildlife Trust and participating in BTO surveys. He is excited to be a BTO Youth Representative and is looking forward to sharing his passion for the natural world with other young people.

David is part of the Cornwall Youth Representative team, along with Alice and Kate.

Emily, 20, Yorkshire

Emily is currently in her final year at the University of Sheffield studying Ecology and Conservation Biology. She is hoping to start her masters next year and progress into a career in conservation and ornithology. As a lifelong bird lover and recent trainee ringer, she wants to share her love for nature with others.

Florence, 24, Scotland

Florence is 24 years old and an unconditional bird lover. She is particularly interested in nature's way to enchant and heal, and its link to our own health and wellbeing. As a BTO Youth Representative, Florence hopes to encourage more young people to learn about the musical, colourful, and fascinating world of birds.

Florence is part of the Scotland Youth Representative team, along with Mark.

Georgina, 20, Scotland / Brighton

Georgina is a 20-year-old Biology Undergraduate studying at the University of St. Andrews and has always had a passion for conservation. She developed a love for birding after watching her first bird ringing demonstration at the Knepp Estate. She is now a ringing trainee working towards achieving her C-permit and expanding her knowledge of birds. As a BTO Youth Representative she aims to engage young individuals with wildlife and develop their appreciation for the natural world. She believes providing sources of inspiration for young people through activities such as bird ringing demonstrations and nature-oriented talks are extremely important as they can shape their futures.

Gethin, 22, Cardiff

Gethin is a 22-year-old nature enthusiast from Cardiff and a recent graduate of 'Conservation Biology and Ecology' at Exeter University. Always keen to share his passion for wildlife with others, at university he wrote regular articles for the student nature magazine 'Life', and also regularly engaged with school classes with the nature-focused society 'Generation Wild'. A keen birder since childhood, he is excited to inspire young people to get stuck into surveys and to expand the BTO community in the region of South Wales.

Hannah, 16, Lothian

Hannah is 16 years old and has long had a passion for wildlife and birds. She volunteers with a children's wildlife club and loves taking part in RSPB and BTO surveys, as well as making feeders for the birds in her garden from recycled materials. She also enjoys getting muddy and going for rambles in the countryside. Hannah would love to study zoology and conservation when she is older and is particularly interested in animal behaviour, especially in mammals and birds. An experience that inspired her was visiting the Farne Islands where she saw her favourite birds (puffins and baby pufflings!) nesting right up close! As a Youth Representative, Hannah would like to help inspire the next generation of birders and conservationists and help to bridge the gap between city life and nature.

Hannah, 22, Dorset

Hannah has recently graduated from the University of South Wales with a BSc(Hons) in Natural History, a combination of biology, ecology and wildlife photography and film making. During her time at university, she started the USW Nature and Ornithology Society to engage as many students as possible in nature from all backgrounds, especially during these times of anxiety and unknown. Nature has the immense potential to help people appreciate the present moment and find respect for our environment, which has inspired Hannah's passion for learning, foraging and teaching others about the power of the natural world. She hopes to continue this as a BTO Youth Rep. You can follow Hannah on Instagram.

Jake, 16, Kent

Jake is a 16-year-old A-level student studying Biology, Geography and Psychology. Based on the chalk-grassland habitat of Kent's North Downs, he is interested in local wildlife and helping conserve it by creating ponds, nesting sites, and feeding stations as well as maintaining the flora. He often uses BirdTrack to record sightings of his favourite birds, Bullfinches, and other grassland & farmland species such as Yellowhammers, Goldfinches, Kestrels, and more. Jake plans to lead guided bird walks in his local area and focus on engaging people who have amazing nature opportunities on their front door, but just don't know it.

Jasmine, 19, Bangor

Jasmine is a first-year Wildlife Conservation undergraduate at Bangor University. She loves volunteering and getting stuck into hands-on activities, previously as a Young Wardens leader for Suffolk Wildlife Trust and currently as a Meet and Greet volunteer at RSPB Conwy. In  2019 she helped set up the Biodiversity and Environmental Education Society (BEES) and remains an advisory trustee. She loves all aspects of nature and has a particular interest in improving nature learning in schools (and alternative forms of education), she also has a soft spot for red kites and pine martens. Jasmine is thrilled to be a part of the BTO Youth Rep team and is excited to work with young people in her area and play a part in helping them grow their passion for nature and realise the power they have to make a positive difference for our natural world.

Josh, 17, Shropshire

Josh is 17 years old and the BTO Youth Representative for Shropshire. As Youth Representative he aims to inspire and engage a new generation of nature enthusiasts both inside and outside of the region.

Josh is part of the Shropshire Youth Representative team, along with Sian.

Kate, 21, Cornwall

Kate has been fascinated by the natural world for as long as she can remember, and is working towards a career in conservation. She is studying Zoology at the University of Exeter and is currently on her placement year with the Reserve Team at WWT Slimbridge. She is also a C Permit Bird Ringer and has been ringing for four years. She has a soft spot for seabirds, and her favourite bird is a Storm Petrel!

Kate is part of the Cornwall Youth Representative team, along with Alice and David.

Keir, 19, London

Keir is a first-year History undergraduate at UCL and loves to explore London’s green spaces while remaining loyal to his local patch. He previously for Heath Hands as a Sessions Leader and is now keen to get more young people involved in birding and conservation. He wants to expand the youth birding community by helping people to connect with other young birders in their local area and getting more people to go on birding trips. He is passionate about aiding the personal development of young birders by providing a place where people can be supported and interested in exploring the different careers available in the field. He also wants to provide more events that get diverse audiences engaged as well as looking at green ways of birding in the city.

Lizzie, 22, Aberystwyth 

Lizzie is currently pursuing a research masters as part of the Mycology Research Group at Aberystwyth University, developing genomic technologies to investigate fungal endophyte communities in grasses. With an undergraduate degree in ecology, they hope to bring ecologically centred approaches to the plant breeding and agricultural research carried out here in Wales. They’re also passionate about wildlife recording, especially moth trapping. Before pivoting to microbiology, Lizzie’s focus was on practical conservation and birding, where they especially enjoyed being part of a community of both amateur and expert recorders. The massive value and power of citizen science never fail to astound them, and they hope by being a BTO Youth Representative they can repay the service of those who inspired them to pursue a life in science and nature.

Lucy, 21, Oxford 

Lucy is a 21-year old graduate from the University of Sheffield where she studied Biology with a particular focus on ecology and conservation. She was lucky enough to spend a year studying abroad in Australia where her love for birds (and travel) was really stimulated. Lucy now works as a research assistant at Wytham Woods, focusing on the ecology of wood mice, but she enjoys generally being able to spend time outdoors and in nature as part of her job. She is passionate about all wildlife, whether that is birds, bats or moths, and is super excited to join the BTO as a Youth Representative to share this passion with others. 

Luke, 17, Oxfordshire

Luke is 17 and from Oxfordshire. He’ll be covering the Bucks and Oxon area and is looking forward to working as a Youth Rep because he wants to meet other young wildlife enthusiasts. He hopes to show lots of young people how wonderful wildlife is.

Maria, 24, Nottinghamshire

Maria is a 24-year-old nature lover from North Yorkshire, now based in Nottinghamshire. She finished her BSc in Animal Science at the University of Nottingham in 2020 where she also spent a year working at WWT Martin Mere as a placement student. She is a keen birder, moth-er, trainee bird ringer and WeBS counter.

Mark, 22, Scottish Borders

Mark is a 22-year-old Ecology student in his final year at the University of Edinburgh. He is particularly fascinated by urban ecology and is specifically interested in the response of birds to different gradients of urbanisation. He is also passionate about making bird watching as inclusive and accessible as possible.

Mark is part of the Scotland Youth Representative team, along with Florence.

Mya, 19, Dorset

Mya is a 19-year-old birder, wildlife photographer, naturalist, and vlogger. She is currently studying an ecology and wildlife conservation degree at Bournemouth University. Having had a passion for wildlife since the age of 8, she is now hoping to encourage the next generation to take up an interest in the natural world. Alongside her studies, she is an ambassador for the Cameron Bespolka Trust, Leica Sport Optics, and a council member for the Sussex Ornithological Society. 

Sian, 16, Shropshire

Sian is a 16-year-old birder from Shropshire who is a passionate photographer and budding conservationist. She is also interested in other flora and fauna such as dragonflies and butterflies, especially on her local patch.

Sian is part of the Shropshire Youth Representative team, along with Josh.

Soha, 24, London

Soha is a multidisciplinary lover of all things nature and creatures. She runs the Instagram account @lovely_caring_creatures, playfully sharing learnings and encouraging everyday engagement with plant life, fungi, and non-human animals in the process. She hopes for it to evolve into a community resource for educational and creative events, job opportunities, and creative submissions with the intention of decolonising knowledge about nature and unlearning anthropocentrism. Currently, she is working for Misery, a mental health collective based in London, helping to plan their year-long herbalism & foraging programme (2022-2023) for QTIBPOC (Queer, Transgender and Intersex Black People and People of Colour). Soha is interested in creative and interactive outlets as modes of co-learning and wants to cultivate spaces for people's curiosity to be empowered and fed. She enjoys making things, cooking with loved ones, birding, and stopping people in their tracks to look at herbs growing out of pavement cracks.

This project is funded by the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

The Youth Rep programme is supported by British Birds Charitable Trust.



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