Local man takes reins at wildlife info centre

Graeme Wilson of Westruther has been appointed as manager of The Wildlife Information Centre.
Graeme Wilson of Westruther has been appointed as manager of The Wildlife Information Centre.

A BERWICKSHIRE man has been appointed manager of The Wildlife Information Centre (TWIC), the biological records centre for the Lothians and the Scottish Borders.

Graeme Wilson, who lives near Westruther, joins the TWIC from Midlothian Council, where he was the Biodiversity Officer for over five years.

He has nearly 20 years involvement in the environmental field, including running a training team in Berwickshire of up to 24 conservation trainees, working as an environmental education co-ordinator and spending over three years as an environmental community development fieldworker covering the Scottish Borders.

This experience will be put to good use to help TWIC, a not-for-profit company with charitable status, continue to grow, as it has over recent years.

Graeme said: “I am really looking forward to my future with The Wildlife Information Centre, continuing the great work that the Centre carries out, as well as developing projects that will engage a new audience to get them out looking at wildlife and reporting their sightings to us.

“The information we receive is vital to other organisations in developing new conservation projects and to make sure that planned work does not impact on important habitats or protected species.”

One of Graeme’s first tasks in his new role has been to set up a Facebook page for TWIC as a new way of engaging with a wider audience and getting them involved in wildlife recording.

He explained: “Although we want to encourage everyone to get involved we are especially keen to bring on the next generation of wildlife recorders and for that reason we have launched The Wildlife Information Centre Facebook page.

“This is just one of many future planned developments but we hope it will allow us to let a younger group of people know about what we do and how they can get involved in different projects.”

TWIC provides an objective, independent wildlife information service for people and organisations from all sectors.

It is the focal point for biological recording and works to increase knowledge of the land, freshwater and marine wildlife throughout the Lothians and the Borders.

The Centre provides a wide range of data services; including the routine supply of data to local authorities for screening planning applications, to consultants for preparing environmental assessments, and to conservation bodies for writing

management plans.

TWIC is currently working on a variety of projects including a Hedgehog Survey, Phase 1 habitat surveying of Scottish Borders sites and helping develop a project with the Lothians and Borders Mammal Group, as well as planning new projects for 2012.

Anyone wanting to find out how to get involved in helping out with TWIC’s work, either in the field or assisting in the office, should contact Graeme on 01875 825968.