Evolving Conservation Leaders Seminar – 16th November 2022

On 16th November we hosted our second Evolving Conservation Leaders seminar, chaired by OLF Founder, Dr Tim Mackrill. You can watch a recording of the seminar by clicking play on the video below. The three very talented speakers Amy Primavera, Andrew Painting and Brittany Maxted are all members of our Evolving Conservation Leaders programme, and talked about their work with Turtle Doves, Caledonian Pine Forest and Ospreys respectively. 

Deer, trees and people: restoring Scotland’s Caledonian pinewoods

by Andrew Painting 

Scotland’s fragmented and endangered Caledonian Pinewoods, which have existed since the last Ice Age, are enjoying something of a renaissance. After centuries of overuse and overgrazing, these precious woodlands are returning to thousands of hectares of ground. The reason, simply, is a reduction in red deer numbers.

But nothing is simple in conservation, and this work has been fraught with controversy. Following the story of the fall and rise of the pinewoods of Mar Lodge Estate, this presentation delves into the complex cultural and ecological relationships between people, pinewoods and the Monarch of the Glen, and looks at what the future holds for Scotland’s iconic wildlife and habitats.

Restoring the Osprey: the importance of people and populations

by Brittany Maxted 

Like many species, Ospreys have suffered devastating declines at the hands of humans. Their story is a hopeful one however, with recent recovery not only demonstrating the staggering success that’s achievable through conservation interventions, but also providing an ideal opportunity to study the factors driving population expansions. Such new understanding helps us to devise the best conservation approaches to aid rapid species recovery, which we so desperately need in our nature depleted modern landscapes.


Brittany will be talking about the part she has played in this process: managing the reintroduction of breeding Ospreys to Southern Britain. She’ll outline the importance of translocation as a technique and the thrilling successes seen as a direct result. She’ll also give an overview of her current PhD research on the Scottish Osprey population and what she’s learnt so far about how ospreys are influenced by each other and by their surroundings.

Researching the foraging habits of Turtle Doves in Essex

by Amy Primavera 

Sadly, we have seen a significant decline in Turtle Dove populations in the UK and conservation action is needed to improve the future for this elusive species. During her talk Amy will explore the reasons for decline and need for research. She will share her experience of working as a Research Assistant on an RSPB project which aims to understand the current foraging habits of Turtle Doves in Essex.


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