Richard Gulliver

Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
About The Speaker...

I am garden and countryside wildlife enthusiast, botanist, and ecologist. I belong to the Garden Media Guild, the professional organisation for communicating on gardening and horticultural topics. My wife and I had 27 happy years living in the Hebrides. When there we suggested 22 local Islay botanicals for The Botanist Gin and gathered and prepared them for all distillations for 7 years. We are co-authors of the Aidgap guides – Orchids, Woodland Flowers, Grassland Flowers 1.

About Their Talks...

Talks, which are presented with my wife, include many anecdotes and experiences. More details are available in the Pdf version of our talks leaflet, available on request. We bring a high quality digital projector and require a room with a good blackout. To allow good interaction, I speak to each slide and do not use a script or PowerPoint. However for fixed projectors we can supply our talks as PowerPoints. We bring a range of handleable objects for the interactive part of our session. We do have Public Liability insurance. For phone contact please note we use the Call Guardian system, so after giving your name please allow time for us to hear this and accept the call.


£125.00 plus travelling at 45p per mile

My Contact Details:

01743 861117

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin - its botanicals and their garden allies & our part in a global success story

Way back in 2007 we began working with Jim McEwan, Master Distiller at Bruichladdich Distillery on the Isle of Islay, to create a new product. After three years of experimentation and deliberation The Botanist Islay Dry Gin was born. Our involvement continued until December 2017 when we ‘retired’. Between the first distillation in 2010 and the end of 2017 we gathered and processed all the 22 Islay botanicals for every distillation. Using digital projection and handleable objects, we tell our story and enthuse about the fascination of the 22 and their garden allies.

An Introduction to Garden Wildlife

Besides broadening your interest, this talk aims to provide a framework for enhancing your interaction with wildlife in your garden. A set of feeders alive with birds or a border animated by butterflies are examples of pleasures of garden wildlife. But beyond these, there is a wealth of wildlife that is less easily observed. Knowing what to look for greatly adds to the interest of your garden; and modifying your existing regime will often bring noticeable benefits. If you wish to further increase your garden’s attractiveness to wildlife, there are many improvements you can make.

Our Life in the Hebrides; Anecdotes and Experiences

Many people dream of living a simpler life in beautiful, natural surroundings. Our dream became reality when we moved to the tiny Hebridean island of Colonsay in 1991. My wife became head teacher of the island school and I, in addition to being part-time teacher and occasional bus driver, embarked on botanical research.
Seven years later, we moved to the larger Isle of Islay, staying for 20 years. While there we became the original botanists of The Botanist. Referred to briefly here, this global success story is covered fully in another presentation. Throughout the 27 years we made trips to other many Hebridean islands.

Images of the Hebrides; Landscapes, Habitats, Plants and Wildlife

Our companion talk – ‘Our Life in the Hebrides; Anecdotes and Experiences’ provides a miscellany of stories and images from our time on Colonsay and Islay. While still packed with colourful images, this talk covers several of the topics that make the Hebrides so special; shell sand beaches, flowery machair, peat, black houses, remote ruined croft house and homesteads, otters, orchids and woods – yes they really do exist. Many of the coastal and moorland views show wild landscapes and spectacular skyscapes.

The Joy of Wild Orchids in Britain

Orchids are amongst the showiest of British wild flowers and consequently have a large following among country-lovers. Their allure lies in other areas as well, many are elusive, posing a challenge to hunt them down with your camera or phone; some show a wide range of colour forms; some appear in unexpected places e.g. suburban locations; some are very hard to spot.
Our digital images show orchids in spring, in summer, and in a range of locations. View the images, hear the stories and see if you can resist becoming an orchidophile.

Trees of Garden and Village

Our well-illustrated talk will help you discover the many appealing aspects of the different trees in your neighbourhood, including flowers, seeds, fruit, autumn colour, bark, crown shape, and relationships with wildlife. This will help you to decide which trees to plant in garden and village. Trees can be appreciated in many ways including their folklore and customs, together with their past uses.  We will also present a selection of stories associated with some trees of conservation importance and/or possessing particularly fascinating features.

Jack Badcock, Leicestershire Author, Naturalist and Recorder of a Bygone Age

Jack Badcock (1900 – 1982) lived all his life, from the age of two, in the village of Fleckney. He grew to appreciate and love every tree and hedgerow. He knew where to find the full gamut of wildlife, from stoats hunting rabbits to sun-seeking butterflies. In his early years he made friends with Romanies, our image shows the green lane where they camped, as it is today. In his five books, he conveyed his love for the natural world in simple prose that speaks to the heart. His one-ness with nature is as relevant today as during his lifetime, as I will show in my appreciation of this gentle countryman.

Richard Gulliver Contact Details:

01743 861117

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