At Merlindale Nature our goal is to make more space for the natural world
Merlindale Nature is a community interest company which seeks to reverse the devastating declines in biodiversity which this country has suffered, particularly since the second world war. Our focus is the Scottish Borders where we live and which has lost even more than the national average of 99% of its wildflower meadows. Nationally two out of every three remaining wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1980s, during a period of time when we now believe we have lost more than 75 per cent of our insect biomass. This loss is accelerating with a 2021 Bugife study indicating that we are losing our flying insect pollinators at a rate of 34% per decade. It seems to us that these losses are likely to be linked and that the answer, in part, must be to restore habitat for our insects.
With that in mind Merlindale Nature aims to help others sustain, improve and learn about the natural environment as well as ensure that more habitat is restored and created for wildlife, with a particular focus on wildflower meadows and other habitat which has become depleted in recent years.
Meet the Team
David is a public law barrister with more than 20 years of experience working primarily in areas of local government, planning and housing. On learning about the UK's devastating loss of biodiversity, he became determined to try and reverse this decline. He conceived of Merlindale Nature as a means to achieve that goal.
A true countryman, Reuben has lived in rural areas all his life, growing up on a small dairy farm in Gloucestershire before studying at Aberystwyth University. Since then he has forged a career in nature conservation in Scotland working in both the public and private sectors. For the last ten years he has run his own company, Tweed Ecology, providing ecological expertise across northern England and southern Scotland.
Maxine is a retired business solutions professional with a love of natural world that began in her early childhood on the family farms in East Anglia.
She is treasurer for the Scottish Wildlife Trust Borders group, and volunteers for a Greener Melrose eBikes project. Max is procuring the resources we need for our project and taking care of the finances. In her spare time, Max is to be found outdoors - walking, cycling, and working on her smallholding.
John inherited a love of nature from his parents, this developed further at school and his grandfather’s dairy farm in Devon. After working on a farm he took on a small holding in mid-Wales where he learnt about and practiced permaculture and sustainability while he rebuilt the traditional Welsh farmhouse using mostly traditional techniques. During this time he developed a deeper understanding of the value of community. In 2004 he founded a grassroots charitable action group which continues to engage the local community in environmental pursuits in the Scottish Borders.
Apithanny grew up in the Scottish Borders countryside and is passionate about restoring lost hay meadows to our landscape. She has a master’s degree in wildlife conservation and is currently finishing up her PhD, which focused on assessing the quality of species-rich grasslands and floral field margins for declining pollinators. Her free time is dedicated to volunteering on several environmental charity boards – but she also loves painting and writing about nature in her field journal.
Alex Lintott is a young naturalist and photographer, with a keen eye for wildlife, who is currently studying geography at the University of Glasgow. In addition, he sees wildlife as a means of reconnecting people with the natural world, so much of which has been lost. Whether through close encounters with bear and wild boar, hikes along remote ridge lines, or just enjoying your own back yard, experience has taught him that "getting yourself out there (which is often the hardest part) always proves to be the most rewarding".
To find out more about Merlindale Nature contact us at email@example.com