Phil is the most experienced, current skipper & naturalist guide around the waters of Noss, you couldn’t be in better hands. After working as a firefighter & crew manager in some of the UK”s busiest fire stations for over 18 years, Phil later trained to operate fast rescue boats around the Shetland coastline during service at Sumburgh airport fire station. This work entailed a large amount of training time spent negotiating difficult sea conditions & navigation in rough weather, day & night. He has achieved Powerboat Level 2, Sea Survival, is a VHF Radio Operator & has both First Aid & Professional Practices & Responsibilities qualifications. All of this plus his past seafaring experiences & vast natural history knowledge puts Phil in a perfect place at the helm of The Noss Boat.
Phil has been a keen birder & naturalist since his youth & has been a wildlife guide sporadically over the past 15 years, working for several internationally reputable wildlife tour companies in Shetland, Lesvos & Spitsbergen. Being the Shetland Bird Club vice chairman, on the Shetland rarities committee & heavily involved with the Shetland Ringing Group he is at the forefront of bird studies on Shetland carrying out regular monitoring work of Shetlands birds from both land & sea. Phil is delighted to bring all his training & expertise together to run the now longest operating Noss Boat, & share his infectious enthusiasm & knowledge with his many passengers here on the Isles!
Rebecca hails from a family of keen naturalists & globe trotters & can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a passion for wildlife & photography. She has an MSc in Conservation Management & a 2:1 Hons degree in Geography & Environmental Studies. A varied career as a freelance Ecologist & Wildlife Photographer, Rebecca also regularly guided wildlife tours in Shetland & overseas locations including Lesvos & Spitsbergen. Rebecca was Assistant Warden & Seabird Officer on Fair Isle for 2 years & has a passion for seabirds & cetaceans.
Rebecca has excellent ornithological & communication skills & has worked in the tourism & conservation sectors throughout the last 20 years. She has been a professional, award winning wildlife photographer for the last 12 years & an acclaimed wildlife photographic judge for the past 4 years. She is keen to share her photographic passion with our passengers on our bespoke tours, so they too can enjoy the numerous photographic opportunities whilst aboard the Noss Boat.
Rebecca has worked for several ecological consultancies carrying out bird survey work on both land & sea. She is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology & Environmental Management. Rebecca is a full committee member, treasurer & membership secretary of the Shetland Bird Club. Rebecca & Paul Harvey produced a photographic book ‘Discover Shetland’s Birds‘ in 2015 through the Shetland Amenity Trust, which became an instant best seller. In 2022 Rebecca co-edited the highly acclaimed ‘”Best Days with Shetland’s Birds” with Andrew Harrop. Both books are available via our online shop. Rebecca’s next Bloomsbury/RSPB British Birds book is due out April 2024 & she has been commissioned by Bloomsbury to write another two guides in 2024/5. She is also the photo editor for the much anticipated comprehensive ‘Birds of Fair Isle’ due out in 2024.
Rebecca & Phil met on Fair Isle in 2003 during Rebecca’s post as Seabird Officer & Assistant Warden. Rebecca is the driving force behind the business administrative & social media operations when not entertaining young daughter Ayda Ruby or overseeing the family run Bed & Breakfast from their Georgian townhouse overlooking Lerwick harbour (Ortolan House B&B).