I have always been wild about natural history... in fact for as long as I can remember it has been part of my life. Even though I grew up in SE London, I was always watching the birds that visited our garden or enjoying the wildlife in Greenwich Park.. one of my favourite haunts.
My interest continued, through university where I even had bird feeders outside my student digs in the centre of Derby! I spent time outside whenever I could, watching water voles in the local river and photographing in the parks. My teaching degree , specialising in Environmental Education, gave me my first chance to share my love of the natural world with young people. I then spent 12 years teaching full-time in primary schools.
'If you love what you do, you will never work again....' I am very lucky to now find myself in a position where my work is all involved with what I love; working with wildlife and sharing my passion and enthusiasm.
I moved to my current home in 1998, delighted to have a large plot on the edge of Lichfield. The garden (and house!) were in need of a lot of work, but with a young family, the transformation took some time! As my children have grown up, I have spent more and more time developing the garden for wildlife and in about 2010 I got my first nest box camera kit. Combined with some consultancy work I was doing at the time with wildlife cameras systems, I got completely hooked! My WildlifeKate enterprise was born as I began sharing my projects, ideas and cameras through my website and blog. The business soon took off and went from strength to strength!
In 2001, I set up my own consultancy business, writing educational materials. This work, and my subsequent Wildlifekate business, soon took off.
Now, my work is exciting and varied! I have worked for all sorts of organisations from butterfly parks, for industry, to a wonderful job working in the Natural History Museum, London, where I wrote their primary education guides for visiting school children. I have also worked as the education consultant for Simon King's Wildlife Whisperer website.
I also now manage a 7 acre site, 'Yew View', in Worcestershire., as well as teaching 2 days a week and working in other schools.
I have exhibited at Gardeners' World Live and at Birdfair, Rutland. I have appeared on Springwatch, Autumnwatch, Countryfile, Gardeners' World and Midlands Today and my work has meant I have met many wonderful wildlife enthusiasts!
I have taught for over 25 years, 12 of which were full time, before taking on a part-time role to build up my own business. I now teach 2 days a week at a large Junior School in Warwickshire, where I am in charge of 'WildLearning'; learning outside of the classroom. The work I do here can be seen here.
From developing a 'WildLearning Area', and a 'Grow Zone', to keeping hens and rabbits, the school values the benefits for all from working outside of the classroom.
I also undertake a variety of consultancy roles within the primary sector, advising, teaching and setting up wildlife cameras.
Encouraging and nurturing the next generation of wildlife enthusaists is fundamental to all the work I undertake.
I love sharing what I do with a wider audience and this led to me writing my own blog and a blog for the WildLearning I undertake at Michael Drayton Junior.
I have written articles and blog posts for a wide range of organisations including:
- Wildlife Trusts Magazines
- Lichfield Mercury
- Swell UK
- The Mammal Society
- Digital Photographer
- BBC Springwatch Blog
I have exhibited at:
- BBC Gardeners' World Live
- Wild Screen Festival
I have been a judge for:
Mammal Society Photographer of the Year
Bushnell 'Best of British' trail cam competition
MPA Nature in Quarries' Photography Competition
Winner of BWPA Schools' Photographer of the Year 2014
Shortlisted BWPA 2014, 2015
Judging Bushnell's 'Best of British' with Simon King
Winning BWPA Schools' Award 2014
WildScreen Festival 2014