Education and Engagement

Here are the bios for the mentors who work in Education and Engagement. Please have a look to see who you think may be able to help you best as part of the mentoring scheme before making an application (details on the main mentoring page). If you are unsure, the Mentoring Officer can provide advice.


Simon Tonkin is a wildlife tour leader  and independent conservationist who has lectured in ornithology. He founded The Thorney Farmland Bird Friendly Zone and Operation Turtle Dove. Simon was the Conservation Manager for Conservation Grade, working on ground-breaking and exciting global land use conservation projects. Simon now works in the Straits of Gibraltar in Spain.


Becky Fisher

Becky Fisher is Engagement Manager for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Becky has over 10 years of experience delivering environmental education and community engagement. She is passionate about encouraging children and adults to experience the natural world and inspiring people to take action for the nature on their doorstep. Becky has a Masters in Behaviour Change focusing on environment and conservation.

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Keiron Brown

Keiron Brown’s passion is natural history, particularly invertebrates. He works for the Field Studies Council as a Project Manager, running the FSC BioLinks project (an invertebrate identification training programme). He is also the UK’s National Recorder for Earthworms, and an active member and trustee of both the Earthworm society of Britain and London Natural History Society. Expertise include biological recording, training and social media.

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Jo Elphick

Jo Elphick is the Education Manager for a wildlife conservation charity. Her role involves developing the content of conservation education workshops and talks for all key stages and delivering them in schools. As a part of her role Jo also runs an annual global wildlife themed children’s art competition.


Catriona Corfield

Catriona Corfield has worked in various roles for the RSPB since 2004, with consistent themes of project management and connecting a broader variety of people to nature.

She brings experience of developing strategy and guidance, managing people and events and relationship building with people across a range of ages, abilities and backgrounds and organisational levels.


Carl Chapman

Carl Chapman worked in the world of finance for over three decades before his career change. This prepared him for starting his own business, Wildlife Tours  and Education, and all that ensues from handling the business development and financing side of an organisation.

Carl also teaches photography. He is based in Norfolk and is the County Cetacean Recorder among other roles. 

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Nicola Lynes

Nicola Lynes has worked and volunteered in the UK and internationally for 15 years, with a focus on environmental education and facilitating youth engagement with the natural world. She currently works as a community engagement officer, supporting community groups to deliver environmental projects in the West Midlands, and has a keen interest in connecting people to their local natural spaces.

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Sara Smith

Sara Smith works in learning and development, educating and training on topics linked to food, farming and the countryside.  She is passionate about sustainability and working with people.  She also volunteers with Keep Scotland Beautiful, helping to assess community growing projects.

Ian Barthorpe

Ian Barthorpe

Ian Barthorpe has worked in various visitor-based roles for the RSPB since 1999, being based at RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk since 2003. His work includes: meet and greet, events planning, leading guided walks, media, social media, blogging and interpretation. As well as birds, Ian also has an interest in all nature, especially mammals, butterflies and flowers. He also has some experience as a tour leader.

 Interested in becoming a mentor? We would like to make our panel of mentors more reflective of the young people who we hope to support. This means we'd love to hear from women and from Black, Asian and ethnic minority people. Please have a look at the information booklet and mentoring agreement and get in touch with the Mentoring Officer: