Machair LIFE+ Project

The project is being managed by a small, but dedicated and experienced team, from their offices in Balivanich, Benbecula.

Rebecca recently moved from a busy farming community in Rutland to work for the RSPB as project manager for the Machair LIFE + team in the second year of its existence.
Her back ground includes a Geography degree, followed by a post graduate qualification in Landscape Design. She has 20 years experience as a chartered landscape architect, working in the public and private sector on land restoration, habitat creation and historic landscape design projects. She is a keen amateur botanist, gardener and painter.

Machair LIFE+ welcomes a new Project Advisory Officer, Matthew Topsfield. Matthew has a strong background in wildlife and land management having worked in the field of conservation and environmental advisory services for more than 11 years. He has enjoyed working with a wide range of people and types of business, helping them maintain working practices that benefit the environment and their businesses alike. Having been a very frequent visitor to the Uists he is now looking forward to working closely with crofters to help them maintain the unique habitat, wildlife and agricultural practices on the machair. Contact Matthew if you would like to enter into a management agreement or for advice and assistance about land management methods.

Margaret's is probably the first voice you'll hear if you phone the project office. After enjoying several holidays in the Uists, Margaret relocated to North Uist to be closer to the wildlife and the natural unspoiled surroundings. As such, she leapt at the chance to be part of a project that would work with crofters to ensure the future conservation of the machair.

Donald started working with the project in 2010 as one of the goose scarers for the Crop protection Scheme. In December 2011, he began supporting and then taking over from Angus Ferguson the original project assistant who has moved to a permanent post with the Scottish Agricultural College on Benbecula. Donald is originally from South Uist, is a fluent Gaelic speaker and has spent years working for family and friends on their crofts.

Hazel volunteered with us in 2012 whilst conducting a socio-economic study of crofting on the machair for her MSc. She now wants to make her place here in the community and landscapes of the islands and has joined the team engaging local schools and the public with the work of the project, and the many benefits of the machair.