Founder and Non-Executive Director
Since my childhood I’ve had a passion for nature and its wildlife, throughout my life, I’ve learned so much, with the help and guidance of others I’m indebted to. I’ve watched badgers and foxes in their natural habitats and studied different species of our native animals, but always felt there was something missing.
Then back in the late 80’s I heard about our British big cats and immediately contacted the local big cat expert in Leicestershire (David Spencer) who has sadly since passed away. He became a fantastic friend and mentor and taught me a great deal about our large British felines. However, despite all I learned and all the reports I read regarding these elusive creatures, I still felt there was something missing.
One day, my attention was brought to the other exotic fauna out there on this green island such as wallabies, raccoons, and eagle owls, the list goes on. So I began collating these varied reports from 2001 right up until 2016 when I met with an owner who had just lost his pet skunk, it was then it hit me I’d been treating all these exotics as just statistics, not thinking they were someone’s lost pet. So thereafter I began to view all reports as lost exotic pets and decided to take a more hands-on approach to these situations and help in trying to find them and get them home safely before any danger befalls them.
Since beginning BeastWatch U.K. Search & Rescue Operation, which is predominantly run by exotic keepers for the benefit of exotic keepers, we’ve seen successes and failures and although it touches our hearts when we see the gratitude on the owner’s faces when we do succeed.
Chris currently supports the work of the management team & is an important member of our Board as a non – Executive Director
Chief Executive Officer
Mike is currently charged with running the organisation as its Executive Director. Formerly Secretary to the Committee as well as the Area Coordinator for North West England with specific RC responsibilities for Lancashire. A retired charge nurse who has always had animals in his life being fascinated by bugs, reptiles & amphibians since a child, learning about nature through keeping many wild caught long term pets. Mike runs an animal encounter business & shares his home with around forty different species (including humans) . Many of the animals he keeps have been rehomed to him or rescued through BeastWatch call outs. He has been with BeastWatch UK since its early years as a cryptozoology interest group. The study of unknown animals remains a hobby and he was a long term author & contributor to Cryptozoology.com during the early 1990’s, he remains an avid researcher & debater of the big cat phenomena & has an enthusiastic critical interest in all things paranormal.
Mike’s long term aim is to ensure that BeastWatch UK CIC grows in size, credibility & effectiveness under the rebranding to National Exotics to ultimately becoming a household name synonymous with animal rescue & animal welfare.
Mike is a long time, outspoken critic of the RSPCA & its ethics as an organisation, it is his hope that National Exotics will become associated with offering a more positive & inspired response to the crisis facing the exotics keeping hobby & the pet trade in general.
Executive Director of Welfare and Organisational Development Strategy.
Tracie is an Executive Director with responsibility for heading the National Exotics Welfare Team as well as overseeing organisational developments.
Tracie has a background in Animal Rescue and is qualified in animal welfare. She has been with the organisation since & was formerly the County Coordinator for Lancashire and our first Director of Operations.
Executive Director of Operations
Sharon has direct responsibility for the day to day service delivery of our county teams, she oversees the recruitment, interviewing & appointment of all volunteers.
This pivotal role is supported by our regional & county Coordinators.
Liaison Team Leader
As a member of the County Liaison Team Loretta supports the ongoing development of the organisation in providing the initial contact with emergency services & other statutory bodies within regions.
Loretta is a keen snake keeper & has been associated with animal rescue within Lancashire for many years.
Joe is the County Coordinator for Lancashire – appointed to the Board to directly relate pilot developments within the Lancashire county.
Joe has also recently agreed to project manage our YouTube channel through to its resurrection as a vital aspect of our social media campaign.
Joe is an accomplished exotics keeper as well as running a turtle sanctuary & an encounter business with his pets.
IT Systems & Development
A welcome new addition to the team, providing both IT Systems & Technical Support while reviewing & improving our existing systems. Although looking after our IT Systems and Technical Support, Ashley actually works in the Events Industry. Also Ashley has a Vast knowledge in regards to Health & Safety, Safeguarding and is also A Mental Health First Aider.