During the season Aigas employs up to 22 people, as well as a number of outside group leaders, who work closely together to ensure the place runs to the high standards we expect. Everyone helps everyone else and there is a strong team spirit here.
Sir John Lister-Kaye founded Aigas Field Centre over 40 years ago. For more information click here.
A local girl, Lucy’s mother was a Mackintosh of Moy. She runs the household at Aigas, as well as hosting and planning all menus for Aigas guests. In between times she is very active in fundraising for the Highland Hospice and acts as the organiser for Scotland’s Gardens in the Highlands. Her passion is the garden; she has created the Aigas gardens single-handed (with engineering support from John) and continues to extend them year on year.
Daughter of John and Lucy, Hermione recently returned home with her boyfriend Greg. She spent an idyllic childhood at Aigas exploring the estate on her Highland pony. After studying History of Art at university, Hermione went straight to work as a journalist at the Telegraph Magazine in London and then Scottish Field in Edinburgh. She still writes freelance when she can find the time.
New to the Aigas team, Greg swapped the green and pleasant lands of East Sussex for a life in the Highlands. With an extensive background in property, he now manages the Aigas estate and its infrastructure. Greg is an avid rugby fan, having played for Harlequins in his younger years, and he is always ready for a good old rugby chat.
Aigas’ indispensable book-keeper and secretary, Sheila, has worked at the field centre since 2003. Her hobbies include playing the accordion, walking, gardening, craft work and child-minding her grand-daughter. She is also involved with the local WRI, and Church social group, and works alongside Lucy Lister-Kaye, as treasurer of Scotland’s Gardens local district.
Marjory is an Aberdeen lass. She studied Hotel Management and worked in various hotels in the United Kingdom, and Canada. Happily married and settled in nearby Kiltarlity, she is an active member of various community organisations. Her hobbies include hill walking, ski-ing and craft work.
Katie completed a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Environmental Consultancy at Newcastle University and, after a brief spell working in London, she escaped the city in 2011 to work on the Soay sheep project out on St Kilda. Katie is a passionate hill walker and adventurer and is never happier than when exploring the wild and lonely places throughout the Highlands.
From a young age, Ben has been fascinated with the natural world. His close ties with the sea spurred him into a Marine Biology B.Sc at Swansea University, after which he spent 3 months working in Madagascar conducting environmental education and biodiversity surveys of the coral reefs and forests. Ben has a passion for wildlife photography and relishes travelling with his camera and ukulele by his side.
Frequent family visits to the Massif Central in France allowed Emilie to pursue her love of mountain walking, whilst encountering wildlife such as marmots and red squirrels, from a young age. She studied Ecology and Conservation at Manchester Metropolitan University, and at Lista Bird Observatory in Norway, where she helped with bird ringing and migratory seabird counts.
Born and raised on the south-west coast of Scotland, Alison has always had a passion for Scottish wildlife. After completing a degree in Zoology from the University of Glasgow, she spent a month in Madagascar assisting with ecological and biodiversity studies. In 2015, she spent 6 weeks on the Isle of Islay studying the local wildlife with other members of the University of Glasgow Exploration Society.
Whilst studying Ecology and Conservation at the University of St Andrews, Danny volunteered for the Scottish Deer Centre and for the Scottish National Trust. After university he volunteered for a sperm whale research vessel in the Balearic Islands, an elephant sanctuary in Thailand and for conservation research teams in South Africa and Peru’s Amazon rainforest.
A lifetime of climbing, walking and camping in Scotland’s wild landscapes has given Nicola a love of nature and a huge desire to protect and improve it for future generations. After working as a product designer she felt that many aspects of industry were unsustainable and so decided to change into wildlife and conservation.
Kerri’s interest in nature was sparked at a very young age from wildlife on regular family walks in London’s Epping Forest, inspiring her to study Zoology at Leeds University. In 2014 Kerri moved to South Africa for 2 years to become a nature guide and work on a wildlife monitoring project. Kerri is passionate about environmental education and believes it should be accessible to people of all ages and from all backgrounds.
After a PhD in Ecology at the University of Aberdeen, a career in environmental education seemed like an excellent way of escaping the desk-bound world of academia. She hopes to encourage people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to look at the world around them in more detail. Chloe manages the Education Team and provides as many people as possible with the opportunity to learn outdoors.
Raised in Reading, Rachel always enjoyed being outdoors, horse riding and going on countryside walks as a child. She studied Biological Sciences at Birmingham University and then a master’s in Wild Animal Biology, furthering her interest in wildlife and conservation. Rachel is passionate about encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors and nature, raising awareness of the importance of protecting our environment.
Throughout her undergraduate degree in archaeology, Charlie enjoyed researching the relationship between people and their environment, particularly the interactions between people and animals throughout history. After university she began volunteering with various wildlife education charities including a post at the Natural History Museum in London within the tropical butterfly and moth exhibition. Sketching and painting are among her favourite hobbies.
Robin has known the Highlands and Islands all his life, and has lived in Assynt, Orkney, Strathglass, Skye, and now lives in southern France. His book, North and West, gives an excellent introduction to aspects of the Highland landscape and his new book Castles in the Mist, explores the Victorian impact on the Highlands.
His first job, in 1995, was as a Ranger at Aigas Field Centre. It was here, he says, that he became the avid naturalist he is now. After Aigas he worked as a Countryside Ranger, Environmental Education Officer and for 17 year as a Local Authority Biodiversity Officer. He now guides full-time. Though he is interested in all of nature, dragonflies are his favourites.
Laurie is Scotland’s most accomplished and best-loved nature photographer. His dazzling images have graced our website and all of our marketing material and presentations. He leads our photography weeks and they are always the first to fill – so book early to take advantage of Laurie’s patient and generous teaching style and limitless knowledge on all things photography.
Mark Cocker is a celebrated nature writer and author of 11 books include works of biography, history, literary criticism and memoir. Birds and People (2013) was shortlisted for four awards. His latest Our Place is published in 2018 and is a hard-headed look at British conservation history.
Naturalist and television presenter, Nick Baker, has been leading groups at Aigas for many years. He most notably hosted the BBC’s Really Wild Show, as well as hosting several other nature programmes and regularly contributing to Radio 4’s The Natural History Programme. He is an extremely knowledgable and enthusiastic naturalist, taking particular interest in invertebrates and badgers. His latest book, Nick Baker’s Bug Book takes a close look at the lives of insects and other invertebrates.
Sue was propagator at Inverewe Gardens for 14 years, which led to a deep interest in plants and their habitats in the wild alł over the world. She has collected plants from around the world and latterly has enjoyed guiding plant enthusiasts around gardens, as well as writing several papers on plant propagation. Sue’s own garden, 2 Durnamuck on the west coast, is open to the public.
Liz Holden is one of Scotland’s most respected mycologists, a passion she has studied for thirty years, working in a range of habitats across the UK. She is an excellent tutor and loves sharing her fascination in the identification, recording and ecology of all fungi.
Jackie Garner is a professional artist who has always been fascinated by the natural world. Born and brought up in Gloucestershire, her early paintings celebrated the flora and fauna of beech woodland, limestone grassland and Severn estuary, all features of her home county. Jackie has exhibited extensively and was commissioned to design the 2015 Wildlife Habitat Trust Conservation Stamp. She is the author and main illustrator of The Wildlife Artist’s Handbook.
Following many years as the Head Ranger on Wirral and nine years as Head of Kindrogan Field Centre in Highland Perthshire, in 2014 Martyn moved to South Uist in the Outer Hebrides to experience life as a crofter. His croft is a haven for wildlife, and Martyn is able to indulge his lifelong passion for wildlife, the outdoors and archaeology – even finding time for the good things in life, such as the occasional nip of malt whisky!
Hugh is a native Highlander from the Black Isle. He is a proud parent and grand-parent married to Karen who is a kilt maker by profession. He maintains our lodges, cabins and other property, as well as many aspects of estate work. In his spare time he enjoys walking, cycling, reading, war films and especially westerns, and a good malt whisky.
Maciej Adamczuk (pronounced Magic) comes from Eastern Poland and is Hugh’s right hand man around the grounds, maintaining properties and infrastructure, chopping firewood, mowing the lawns – he’s a busy man. Hugh is teaching him a curious dialect of Highland English with some interesting results!
Monika is Maciej’s wife and the House of Aigas Housekeeper. She is the smiling, friendly face of everything household and cares passionately about the welfare and comfort of our guests.
Wieslawa our cook is ably assisted by our household team of Marzena, Laima and Dorota. Our Polish ladies are a wonderful asset to Aigas. Wieslawa returns for her fourth season at Aigas, Marzena for her third, Laima for her second and we welcome Dorota who joins the team this year. Their enthusiasm, commitment and constant cheerfulness deliver a highly efficient service to all guests.
Elderly Jack Russell terriers, Nip and Tuck, continue to delight our guests and are not quite as obedient as they ought to be. They are outshone on a daily basis by black labrador youngster, Buster, who is still in training but doing very well.