Meet the team

Bernard Mercer


Bernard founded NHBS in 1985, and became the Publisher of British Wildlife when the company acquired the magazine from Bloomsbury in 2016. Bernard says:

‘I first met Andrew Branson in the early 1980s, when we were both making our way in the natural history publishing world – he was in the book production team at Hamlyn, I was doing publicity and marketing for Croom Helm. A few years later I setup NHBS, with Andrew unveiling the first issue of British Wildlife in 1989. We stayed in touch over the years, sometimes comparing entrepreneurial notes, but more often than not discussing topics close to our hearts – biodiversity declines and habitat loss, the marginalisation of conservation in the policy arena, the threats posed by climate change, and the need for more books and articles. With hindsight, these discussions were preparation for what was to come – a phone call from Andrew in late 2015, with a heads up on the opportunity to buy British Wildlife

We are proud to have maintained the quality and balance of British Wildlife since 2016, ably supported by our editorial and design teams, and a small army of contributors. Looking ahead, the need for British Wildlife is greater than ever – the threats to nature loom large, and the options for effective conservation seem to get harder. Our job is to inform readers on what is known and unknown, to relay the evidence on interventions that lead to conservation success, and to highlight areas where actions are failing, or where little to nothing is being done. At the same time, we will continue to celebrate nature – from the marvellous life history of the Potter Wasp to the cranes of Lakenheath, and much, much more.’

Dr Guy Freeman


Guy started working at NHBS in June 2017, and holds the position of Editor for the magazines British Wildlife and Conservation Land Management. Prior to this, he studied conservation biology and ecology at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall campus, spending a year at the University of Queensland as part of the course. After finishing his degree, he moved to Exeter’s Streatham campus to complete a PhD which examined the effects of peatland restoration on grazing in Exmoor National Park.

Guy’s main passion is natural history, with particular interest in marine life and invertebrates.

Ian Atherton

Freelance Designer

Ian has over 20 years’ experience of editorial, design, event photography and video work in both the scientific society and private sectors. He works in a wide range of print media, but specialises in book and magazine design, especially natural history and specialist bioscience titles, but also covering topics ranging from art to local history.

As a keen bryologist, between 2007 and 2012 he was Editor of the magazine Field Bryology, which he also redesigned, and he co-edited and designed the British Bryological Society’s major publication Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: A Field Guide.

Ian is also a part-time musician, playing piano accordion in a number of local bands.

David Hawkins

Freelance Copy Editor

A long-time British Wildlife reader, David began copyediting articles for the magazine and Conservation Land Management in 2017. He has a degree in English from the University of Oxford, after which he worked as a publisher in London for some years before going freelance and returning to his roots in the West Country. David is a keen naturalist, particularly in the fields of botany, bryophytes and any invertebrates that may appear among the vegetation. The rest of the time he does poetry.

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