Dave Fairlamb on the coast of the Isle of Wight with a pair of binoculars

Inspirational Islanders: Dave Fairlamb, Natural Links

Following a career in nature conservation spanning nearly 40 years working for charities including the National Trust and the RSPB, Dave launched his Island business, Natural Links, specialising in Wildlife Tourism and Nature Conservation Consultancy.

“I have always loved islands, having been a reserve warden on the Farne Islands in my younger years. The Isle of Wight has it all, stunning landscapes stretching from the tidelines to the tops of the downs, a rich array of habitats and a wealth of wildlife.

My favourite place is Culver Down, it is such an impressive sight walking towards the towering cliff from either Bembridge or Sandown. It feels wild yet it is accessible and the coastal scenery is beautiful – and there’s a real ale pub on the top! Magical.

There are so many excellent events on the Island throughout the year, but two stand out for me; The Walking Festival and the increasingly popular Classic Buses, Beer & Walks Weekend. Both offer a chance for everyone to explore this wonderful Island.

My very first visit to the Island was not until April 2018, by the Christmas of that year I was living here! How is that for positive impact? From crossing the Solent and setting foot on the Isle, it was obvious that this was a special place.

As a life-long avid birdwatcher, I would savour every moment of one hour on the Island at any time of year by walking the paths of Brading Marshes and Bembridge Harbour and lagoons. The variety of birds to be seen in this area is exceptional. Breeding bitterns and marsh harriers in summer, huge flocks of wildfowl and waders in winter, and a migration hotspot in spring and autumn with species such as bee-eater, cattle egret and yellow-browed warbler seen this year, this is a real gem of a birdwatching site.”

profile image for Wightlink


Get the latest updates on social