Introducing Amos and Polly

Stirling NNRs

This summer we are very lucky to have new staff Amos and Polly who will be working on the Stirling NNRs at weekends and parts of the week. They will be there to help you get to know these special reserves and their inhabitants, and enable you to get the best out of your visit. Amos and Polly are on a steep learning curve for the reserves so if you meet them why not test them to see how far they have got! Here they introduce themselves:

Amos Higgins – Resident omnivore; found in soggy woodland, rusty vehicles and pub folk sessions.

Amos says “I feel privileged to be working for NatureScot helping to bring people closer to our NNRs. The link between people and nature is a passion of mine, and has been key in my work thus far. I graduated from Stirling Uni, then got my hands dirty as a conservation and woodland contractor down south. My passion for woodlands led me to the Forestry Commission, where I worked at Grizedale and Aberfoyle. Alongside this job, I manage a community woodland near Stirling. I am equally fascinated by plants and animals and look forward to getting to know the collection of wild characters on the reserves. I particularly enjoy working with small children; their curiosity is so refreshing and I feel blessed to help inspire them on their journey.”

Polly Phillpot

Polly says– “I was really happy to get the call to say I was going to be a seasonal reserve officer for the Stirling NNR’s. After a year of working at home it’s great to finally spend more time outside and experience how the reserves change over the course of the summer, with the different plants, birds and invertebrates that inhabit them.

Just prior to starting with Nature Scot I was part of the Butterfly Conservation Scotland Team working on their Bog Squad project (so I come with some boggy background!) and I also managed an educational project called ‘Munching Caterpillars Scotland’, delivering a programme of workshops to primary schools about the importance of butterflies, moths and their food plants.

Much of my career to date has been in conservation education and I enjoy engaging people with nature. I spent over 8 years at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland – Edinburgh Zoo as Senior Education Officer teaching a wide range of themes from breeding programmes and chimpanzee politics to beaver outreach lessons and taking a rainforest double decker bus around Scotland. But my favourite animals were always the penguins, with their sneaky pebble stealing shenanigans at nesting time.

After that I ran another education outreach project with Plantlife Scotland called ‘Secrets of the Celtic Rainforest’. This allowed me to explore the Atlantic woodland of the West of Scotland, particularly focusing on the fascinating lichen and moss assemblages that live there, with their weird and wonderful names such as Yellow Specklebelly, the miniscule ‘Elf Ears’ and the Stinky Stictas, which smell particularly ‘fishy’ when wet, which to be fair is most of the time!

Always keen to learn more about the natural world, I’m really looking forward to discovering Flanders, Blawhorn and Loch Lomond NNR’s this summer and to share their intriguing stories and species with the public. I’m just hoping I find my bog legs soon and I can keep the voracious ticks that love me at bay!”

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3 Responses to Introducing Amos and Polly

  1. Anne says:

    May good fortune follow you both so that your end your time feeling fulfilled and ready for the next challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. peigimccann says:

    Welcome to the moss!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elizabeth Douglas says:

    Good luck Amos on your new move. Will miss seeing you when we count the lizards at Flanders Moss. The mature couple who did about 4 rounds of the Moss on each visit. Thank you for pointing out things of interest like sundews. Best wishes, maybe our paths will cross again.
    Alisdair & Elizabeth


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