• River Garnock 02

    Garnock Connections

    Connecting people and places within the Landscape

Meet Our Team:

Alyson Hunter, Project Manager

Alyson Hunter, Project Manager:

As Project Manager for Garnock Connections Alyson’s role is to keep the ship running smoothly by promoting the project, supporting the team leading the 25 different projects across the landscape with our partners, communities and volunteers, celebrating successes and overcoming challenges, big and small, along the way. The scheme has an exciting array of projects covering access, habitat, community and knowledge, something for everyone to get involved, connected and sharing, whatever their interest.

Alyson has a background in practical conservation and volunteer management with a 14 year stint with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and short dabble in Countryside Rangering prior to joining the Garnock team early 2019. Having studied Zoology, and later Countryside Management, Alyson has travelled extensively in search of weird and wonderful wildlife and habitats she only saw in textbooks (pre internet degree!), although the elusive otter is still a mythical creature in her eyes until she finally gets to see one! Perhaps working as part of the Garnock Connections team will prove the otter isn’t mythical at all…

Neal Lochrie, Project Officer

Neal Lochrie, Project Officer:

The Project Officer’s (Natural Heritage) role is to successfully deliver Garnock Connections natural heritage projects in a way that befits our local communities, partner organisation and the natural environment of the project area.

Neal has a background in partnership working and experience of community engagement. Before joining the team spent 8 years working in East Ayrshire as the Countryside Ranger for the Annick Valley as well as undertaking a secondment delivering the natural heritage aspects of the Dean Castle Country Park HLF Parks for People project.

Simon McGrory, Project Officer:

Simon McGrory, Project Officer:

As Project Officer (Heritage), Simon works with local communities and partner organisations to facilitate the delivery of the cultural heritage projects in the Garnock Connections programme.

Simon has a broad range of experience in a variety of heritage roles including academic and commercial archaeology, museum curation, and heritage attraction management. Prior to joining Garnock Connections Simon worked on an historic farm spending part of his time as a 16th Century shepherd.

Mark Litwin, Finance Officer:

Mark Litwin, Finance Officer:

Mark is the Finance Officer for Garnock Connections and assists with the financial administration and reporting of the programme.

Having previously worked in the hospitality finance, legal, and multinational corporations, he brings a strong, supportive skillset to the team.

Miriam Lord, Wildlife Recording Assistant

Miriam Lord, Wildlife Recording Assistant:

Miriam’s role is to run our Go Wild in Garnock project, giving local communities the skills, resources and inspiration to get involved in wildlife recording. Miriam loves a good survey and has been involved in wildlife recording schemes with organisations like the RSPB, the BTO and Butterfly Conservation, but her main passion is for forging connections between people and nature.

She persuaded her Biological Sciences degree supervisors to let her do a research project about public perceptions of conservation and spent a happy summer interviewing people about reintroduction projects and developing a new action plan for community engagement. She’s looking forward to bringing her experience closer to home and sharing her enthusiasm for nature with communities across the Garnock Connections area.

Denize Jacques, Oral History Assistant

Denize Jacques, Oral History Assistant:

As Oral History Assistant, Denize runs the Working Voices project, which aims to record the experiences of women working in industry in the project area. Denize comes from a background in history and archaeology, and has worked previously at various heritage sites nationwide. She is passionate about making heritage accessible to all and would love to hear from anyone who wants to get involved.

Katie Haffie, Digital Skills Assistant

Katie Haffie, Digital Skills Assistant:

As Digital Skills Assistant, Katie manages and develops Garnock Connection’s online engagement to support the delivery of the project.

Katie’s background is in Geography and Museum Studies, gaining her Masters degree in 2019. She has since worked and volunteered at various cultural heritage organisations. Her roles involved delivering and designing learning programmes, leading audience research, managing social media alongside schools and community engagement projects.

You can find us here:

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Garnock Connections,
RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve
Largs Road, Lochwinnoch,
Renfrewshire, PA12 4JF

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