RZSS Education

Meet the Wild about Scotland team

Ruth Fraser

Wild about Scotland Coordinator

I have had a life-long interest in wildlife and studied Zoology at university before beginning a career in environmental education. I have worked for RZSS since 2007 in various education roles including teaching visiting school groups and helping run the summer school. I became coordinator of the Wild about Scotland bus programme in August 2015 and have enjoyed being part of the team since then.

What is your favourite part of being in the Wild about Scotland team?

Working with team members who are really passionate about inspiring the next generation to care about our environment and wildlife. It is brilliant being involved in an outreach programme which covers the length and breadth of Scotland! 

What is your favourite Scottish animal?

My favourite Scottish animal is the grey seal. I love visiting them on the Isle of May and seeing the seal pups with their white coats.

What is the best part about getting a lesson on the Wild about Scotland bus?

The best part is of the Wild about Scotland sessions is that they give children a chance to be inspired about the wildlife on their doorstep and that will hopefully ignite an interest and respect for the natural world.

What does the future hold for the Wild about Scotland project?

The aim of the Wild about Scotland programme is to connect people with their local biodiversity. I see the future of the project as enabling as many people as possible to connect with nature; be it through a visit to the Wild about Scotland bus or using our online resources to head out on a mini-beast safari or build a pond in a bucket, through to feeling inspired to create an entire wildlife garden. 


Rosie Crowther

Wild about Scotland Education Officer

I have always been passionate about travelling, nature and helping the environment, which is great because my job involves all three! I graduated from the University of Kent with a degree in Biodiversity conservation & management and I have worked on various conservation projects in the UK and overseas in Indonesia and Peru. 

Before I started on the Wild about Scotland team, I worked as an Education Officer teaching the Conservation Action Team programme and then the 2016 Spring and Summer Schools. I am really excited about working on the bus exploring all Scotland has to offer, seeing some truly wild places and meeting lots of new people!

What is your favourite Scottish animal?

It is hard to choose, but I have always wanted to see a Puffin! I am originally from Watford in the South so a long way from the coast and the burrows they like to nest in! Sadly, their population is in decline due to climate change, pollution & invasive species.

What is your top tip for wildlife watching in Scotland?

Always keep an eye out! Even if you are in the middle of the city, it doesn’t mean that wildlife isn’t nearby. Many of our native animals have learnt to adapt and survive in our urban areas - foxes are opportunist and will eat practically anything we leave behind!

What are you most looking forward to about the bus?

Working with the team, meeting lots of new people and visiting so many new places. I love teaching anyone who will listen about Scotland’s amazing wildlife and answering questions on how they can help to protect it!


Annabeth Wilson 

Wild about Scotland Education Officer

Having grown up in rural Northern Ireland surrounded by animals, I’ve always had a curiosity and a passion for wildlife and the environment. Since studying Zoology at Glasgow University, I’ve been involved in numerous conservation projects globally, from working with turtles in the Caribbean to carrying out bear population surveys in Canada. I am extremely excited to be a part of the Wild About Scotland Team, and to be given the opportunity to teach kids all over Scotland about the plethora of fantastic animals we can find right here on our doorstep.

What is your favourite Scottish animal and why?

I would have to say that my favourite Scottish animal is the pine marten. I absolutely adore these little guys, especially due to their role as a biological control for grey squirrel populations. Not only are they remarkably well adapted for an arboreal lifestyle, but their hunting of grey squirrels is helping the U.K. red squirrel bounce back!

What is your top tip for watching wildlife?

I always find that the best wildlife experiences are when the animals are behaving naturally and without human interference, so don’t get too close! Take a pair of binoculars with you and enjoy these wonderful animals at a respectful distance.

What are you most looking forward to about working on the bus in 2018?

Can’t wait to explore more of what Scotland has to offer, especially with our planned trips to the Outer Hebrides and some of the other islands. I love witnessing how enthusiastic young people in Scotland are for wildlife and the environment, so getting to engage with them on a subject I love is brilliant.


Karen Swift

Wild about Scotland Admission Assistant

I was born in Sheffield (a very long time ago!). I took a degree in Librarianship in Birmingham, then was a librarian in London for 25 years. I moved up to Scotland in May 2015, and I took up the post of administrator at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo in June 2015. I not only have responsibility for making bookings for the Wild about Scotland bus but also for adult and tertiary bookings. I live with my partner and our 4 cats in the centre of Edinburgh.

What is your favourite part of being in the Wild about Scotland team?

Being part of something that is really special and unique, and knowing that I am contributing to the success of this scheme. Sometimes I see all the wonderful pictures of children and the places that the bus has visited and wish I could go along, but I couldn’t do what the education officers do (and vice versa, I dare to suggest!)

What is your favourite Scottish animal?

The Scottish wild cat is a big favourite, and I loved seeing all the kittens on my last visit to RZSS Highland Wildlife Park.

I have a sneaky respect for red squirrels as well, having never seen one before I moved to Scotland.

What is the best part about getting a lesson on the Wild about Scotland bus?

The wow factor for children of seeing this huge double decker bus roll into the school grounds and knowing that you will be able to go on board and enjoy something that is not only fun but also educational.

How does a school get in touch with you to book a lesson?

You can fill in one of our enquiry forms on the Wild about Scotland website and I will get back to you as soon as possible. The bus is quite heavily booked so please be patient and know that I haven’t forgotten any of you, it just might take a while to find you a date for a visit by the bus!