Founder and Non-Executive Director
Since my childhood I’ve had a passion for nature and its wildlife, throughout my life, I’ve learned so much, with the help and guidance of others I’m indebted to. I’ve watched badgers and foxes in their natural habitats and studied different species of our native animals, but always felt there was something missing.
Then back in the late 80’s I heard about our British big cats and immediately contacted the local big cat expert in Leicestershire (David Spencer) who has sadly since passed away. He became a fantastic friend and mentor and taught me a great deal about our large British felines. However, despite all I learned and all the reports I read regarding these elusive creatures, I still felt there was something missing.
One day, my attention was brought to the other exotic fauna out there on this green island such as wallabies, raccoons, and eagle owls, the list goes on. So I began collating these varied reports from 2001 right up until 2016 when I met with an owner who had just lost his pet skunk, it was then it hit me I’d been treating all these exotics as just statistics, not thinking they were someone’s lost pet. So thereafter I began to view all reports as lost exotic pets and decided to take a more hands-on approach to these situations and help in trying to find them and get them home safely before any danger befalls them.
Since beginning BeastWatch U.K. Search & Rescue Operation, which is predominantly run by exotic keepers for the benefit of exotic keepers, we’ve seen successes and failures and although it touches our hearts when we see the gratitude on the owner’s faces when we do succeed.
Chris currently supports the work of the management team & Committee as a non – executive director
Mike is currently charged with running the organisation as its Executive Director. Formerly Secretary to the Committee as well as the Area Coordinator for North West England with specific RC responsibilities for Lancashire. A retired charge nurse who has always had animals in his life being fascinated by bugs, reptiles & amphibians since a child, learning about nature through keeping many wild caught long term pets. Mike runs an animal encounter business & shares his home with around forty different species. Many of the animals he keeps have been rehomed to him or rescued through BeastWatch call outs. He has been with BeastWatch since its early years as a cryptozoology interest group. The study of unknown animals remains a hobby and he is a long term author & contributor to Cryptozoology.com since the early 1990’s
Mike’s long term aim is to ensure that BeastWatch UK grows in size, credibility & effectiveness ultimately becoming a household name.
Jacqui holds the Committee position of Memberships Officer & is the first point of contact for new volunteer applications, maintaining our database map & liaising with County Coordinators over their new volunteers & updating the details for their team members as required. She is always on hand to discuss any membership issues.
Jacqui has a background in organisational management & is a keen exotics keeper.
John is our senior manager with primary responsibilities for strategy & service development. He has successfully created a network of resources to support the work we do, including with zoos, exotic animal sanctuaries, wildlife rescues & the emergency services. John continues to work at securing future affiliations, contracts & service agreements to strengthen our position as a credible service.
John has a background in organisational management & was previously the County Coordinator for Cheshire.
Tracie is our Operations Manager with specific responsibility for the County Coordinator group. She heads a small but effective team of locum Coordinators & Liaison staff with the aim of maintaining effective support for every county team in the UK as well as promoting their growth & development.
Tracie has a background in Animal Rescue & was formerly the County Coordinator for Lancashire.
County Liaison Team
As a member of the County Liaison Team Joanne supports the Operations Manager Tracie.
County Liaison Team
As a member of the County Liaison Team Loretta supports the Operations Manager Tracie.
IT Systems & Development
A welcome new addition to the team, providing both IT Systems & technical support while reviewing & improving our existing systems. Alex has a background in designing and developing online data management solutions.
He keeps a number of animals including large monitor lizards, giant tortoises, exotic mammals and parrots.