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New Student Ambassador for Wildlife & Conservation at Ayr

A warm welcome to another new student ambassador for the Riverside, Ayr campus. Harley tells us a little about himself here:

Hi, my name is Harley Mathieson. I am studying for an HND in Wildlife and Conservation Management. I was made redundant in May 2020 after a lengthy career in advertising and marketing, mainly in the UK travel industry.


I always have had a love of the outdoors and natures wild places and felt that this was a wonderful opportunity to change career and work in an area close to my heart; to study and work in a field where I can make a positive and meaningful difference to the world around us.

Well into the first term my hopes for the course have been realised, even allowing for the unique circumstances we find ourselves in. Most of our learning is online at the moment but we are having opportunities to do some field work too – I especially relish these.

This course is inspiring. It encourages you to look around the natural environment with wide open eyes and to strive for a greater understanding of the complexities and interconnectedness of all our biodiversity, even the very small things. A daily walk in the woods becomes an exploration of a whole new environment, for instance. Here is a short montage of my photos of lichen, moss and fungus growing on tree bark around Calderglen Country Park where I walk several times a week. They’ve always been here, but I’ve never really ‘looked’.

Biodiversity Conservation is of particular interest to me. It has never been so relevant in today’s world and there are consequences for us all if we continue to get things wrong.

After the course, it’s very early to tell, but visitor management and education seem more pressing than ever, so I can see myself in that role or combining some of my existing skills and doing something in the ecotourism sector. The prospect of going on and studying for the BSc is also something I’m very interested in.


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