Meet our advisors


Roger Draycott, Director of Advisory and Education, and Eastern and Northern England Advisor

Roger DraycottFrom a farming background and with a PhD in pheasant ecology, Roger has worked at the GWCT since 1993. He spent many years undertaking applied research on pheasants (reared and wild) and grey partridges through Britain before joining the advisory team in 2012. Roger provides advice on game management and wildlife conservation to farmers, shoot managers, conservation organisations and the agricultural supply chain across eastern and northern England in addition to heading up the Advisory team.

Tel: 01440 821325
Mobile: 07879 443159

Mike Swan, Senior Advisor, Southern England

Mike SwanMike has been a member of the GWCT advisory team since 1982, having previously completed a PhD in Botany. He runs his own small shoot in Dorset, as well as enjoying wildfowling, fishing and woodland stalking. He runs the GWCT’s tertiary education programme, and provides advice on game management and conservation to gamekeepers, shoot managers, farmers and conservation organisations across southern England, the southwest, and throughout Wales.

Tel: 01425 651020
Mobile: 07801 413209

Jennie Stafford, Farmland Biodiversity Advisor, Northern England

Jennie StaffordJennie has a wealth of farmland conservation experience and has most recently been working as an independent consultant, advising farmers and landowners on conservation, resource protection, habitat creation, wildlife management and grant schemes. Prior to that Jennie was with FWAG in the northeast. Jennie grew up on a farm and is a biological sciences graduate with BASIS and FACTS qualifications, and has previously been on the GWCT Northumberland and Durham Committee.

Mobile: 07958 427664

Megan Lock, Farmland Biodiversity Advisor, Southern England

Megan LockMegan obtained a BSc (Hons) Ecology and Conservation from Sparsholt College, following studies in Agriculture and Countryside Management. She previously worked for Natural England as a Land Management and Conservation Advisor delivering agri-environment schemes and providing protected species and designated site advice. She has also worked as an Estate Land Manager for a sporting estate in Devon before joining the CLA as the Rural Advisor, where she was for eight years. Megan’s primary role at the GWCT is to work with landowners in the Allenford and Martin Down Farmer Clusters, whilst also providing support for the southern Advisory service.

Tel: 07872 832865

Alex Keeble, Game and Wildlife Advisor, Central England

Alex KeebleAlex grew up in Suffolk, where his passion for farming, fieldsports and wildlife conservation steered him to gain a BSc (Hons) degree from Writtle Agricultural College in Conservation and Environment. Alex worked as a research assistant whilst at university for the GWCT on gamebird ecology and red-legged partridges. He has been a full-time gamekeeper and deer manager for the past ten years on estates in the Cotswolds and the Chilterns, having previously been a part-time gamekeeper in Suffolk. Deer stalking and grey partridge management are a passion for Alex.

Mobile: 07528 546685

Amber Lole, Game & Wildlife Advisor, Western England

Amber LoleHaving gained BSc and MSc degrees from Harper Adams University in Countryside Management and Rural Enterprise Management, and with a keen interest in shooting and conservation, Amber joins the team in Fordingbridge assisting with the delivery of advice to landowners, managers and gamekeepers in the south of England. Amber has previous experience working as a rural surveyor as well as within a number of other rural enterprises.

Tel: 01425 651048
Mobile: 07814 717530

Lizzie Herring, Advisory Co-ordinator

Lizzie HerringLizzie is from a nursing and midwifery background and joined the GWCT in 2013 as a regional organiser supporting our county committees in their vital fundraising, education and membership work for the Trust. In 2019 we welcomed Lizzie on to the advisory team (England and Wales) as advisory co-ordinator on a part-time basis. Lizzie is the main port of call for general advisory enquiries and course bookings in England and Wales. The remainder of her role continues as a part-time regional organiser.

Tel: 01425 651 013
Mobile: 07885 897 647


Matthew Goodall, Head of Education and Regional Advisor, Wales and Northwest England 

Matt -goodall -pic

With a wealth of countryside management skills, Matt has managed landscape-scale conservation projects and has worked with a variety of conservation organisations to help boost biodiversity. Having spent five years delivering game management courses at Reaseheath College in Cheshire, Matt is looking forward to being back in the field and delivering landscape-scale improvements across the Welsh countryside.

Mobile: 07741 902021


Nick Hesford, Head of Advisory, Scotland

Nick HesfordNick joined our Uplands Research team in 2017 with a PhD in Biodiversity and Community Ecology. Based in the Scottish Borders, Nick has worked on a variety of both English and Scottish projects, including research on red and black grouse, capercaillie and wading birds. Most notably, Nick has led on the recent GWCT research projects on mountain hares in Scotland. Having previously worked for both ecological consultancies and rewilding charities in southern Scotland, Nick has helped deliver practical conservation and habitat restoration at the landscape scale. In his spare time, Nick enjoys training and working gundogs and is involved with local game shoots in the Scottish Borders.

Mobile: 07896 006322

Hugo Straker, Lead Advisor, Scotland

Hugo StrakerHaving gained qualifications in farming and forestry, Hugo has been living and breathing game and shoot management since joining the Trust’s Advisory Service in 1984. He is uniquely positioned to impart practical advice, having spent early years keepering himself on both a wild partridge shoot in Norfolk and a pheasant shoot in the Cotswolds. As well as managing GWCT’s game rearing demonstration field at Fordingbridge, he was a familiar figure behind the success of many English shoots before returning to his native Scotland in 1991, where he remains actively involved with grouse moor management as well as low ground game enterprises, both large and small, the length and breadth of the country. His passion has led him to establish and manage two successful low ground shoots in East Lothian. Hugo’s massive training expertise is keenly sought by farms and estates requiring top quality best practice courses on all aspects of game management.

Tel: 01620 830230
Mobile: 07713 074147

Marlies Nicolai, Advisor, Scotland

Marlies NicolaiWith over 10 years of experience in the research and conservation sector, Marlies Nicolai is an experienced conservation ecologist with expertise in game and rural management, as well as ornithological surveys. She has worked both in the UK and in a number of southern African countries, where she developed her passion and knowledge for wildlife and landscape management, including human-wildlife conflicts, whilst working in research and conservation management positions. Marlies first started working for GWCT in 2016 as the Research Assistant on the Game & Wildlife Scottish Demonstration Farm, conducting research monitoring on agricultural practices, game management, and biodiversity conservation. In 2022, she transitioned to the GWCT Advisory Department where she works towards enhancing and promoting conservation and game management in rural Scotland.


Fiona Torrance, Farmland Biodiversity Advisor

Fiona TorranceFiona is the team’s Farmland Biodiversity Advisor with over 15 years of experience in the sector.  During the course of her career, she has provided advice on biodiversity solutions to farmers and other land managers, as well as on major infrastructure projects and to blue-chip clients. Fiona has specialist skills in undertaking biodiversity surveys (including habitats, birds and others), providing advice on how biodiversity can be increased, as well as experience working in pest and lowland game management. She is also currently establishing farmer clusters across Scotland and is working with clients to explore opportunities with natural capital and biodiversity credits.


Felix Meister, Assistant Advisor

Felix MeisterFelix joined the GWCT in 2022 with a dual background in academic research and practical land management. Felix has a PhD from the University of Oxford and taught at university level for several years, before changing careers in order to be a gamekeeper in Scotland. As a student at Borders College, Felix earned a prestigious ALBAS award and now acts as LANTRA industry champion for the game and wildlife management sector. Prior to joining the Advisory team, Felix worked for the GWCT’s Scottish Research team, where he looked at the effects of land management on moorland biodiversity. Outside of work, Felix rarely misses an opportunity to go shooting or take his dogs for a good day out.


Game & Wildlife Conservation Trading Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (registered no 1503620, VAT Reg No 323 7013 94) which carries out trading and advisory activities and some fundraising events for the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. Registered in England and Wales. Registered Office: Burgate Manor, Fordingbridge, Hampshire SP6 1EF

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