In Aid of
Studying Puffins in Mingulay
Amount donated: £14,949
Puffin colonies are declining in many parts of Scotland and this is believed to be associated with food availability. On St Kilda, puffin productivity and the weights of fledging puffins have been very low in recent years with disastrous breeding seasons in 2005 and 2007 (Money, 2008). Unfortunately our understanding of puffin ecology is hampered by their habit of nesting in burrows and locating the burrows on particularly inaccessible cliffs. Puffin research has therefore concentrated on a small number of colonies where they nest in more accessible locations, notably the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth, where the link between puffin productivity and the availability of sandeels, their main food, has been demonstrated.
Feeding ecology on the west coast of Scotland is known to be different, a greater proportion of clupeids being taken, and there is a lack of synchronicity between breeding failures on the east and west coasts. Even the size of colonies on the west coast is poorly known because they are mostly inaccessible, and yet it is here that the majority of the Scottish puffin population is to be found.
This project aims to take advantage of a readily accessible, but previously unstudied puffin population on the island of Mingulay (Outer Hebrides) to investigate the feeding ecology of puffins on the west coast and to develop techniques for censusing and observing puffins that can be used in inaccessible locations.
Puffins sit for short periods outside their burrows, particularly at certain times of day and different phases of the breeding season, and this can be recorded remotely with time lapse photography. The use of image recognition systems will enable a greater number of photographs to be analysed and will increase the possible frequency of observations throughout the day. By observing the burrow attendance of puffins in the accessible colony, it is hoped to develop algorithms to allow an estimation of colony size from these photographs. Variations in burrow attendance throughout the breeding cycle may give an indication of the rate and date of any breeding failures and, in the post-hatching period, the frequency of feeding visits may be related to food availability. Techniques developed in this way will be tested on other inaccessible puffin colonies on Mingulay and their applicability assessed on the much larger poorly accessible colony on St Kilda.
Feeding ecology will be assessed, both the number, species and size of fish presented, and this will be compared with data available from other colonies to identify any regional variations.
The Hon Lady McAlpine
Portrait painter, ex racing driver, interior designer, garden designer and restorer of old houses, she now runs an estate with an animal sanctuary, railway and museum.
She is also an event organiser and fundraiser.
“Welcome to the 2010 Women of Achievement Lunch. Perhaps I should say "Welcome Back" as the guest list suggests that most of you are joining us for the third time. I hope this means that our small, hard-working committee has created an event you will continue to put in your diaries for years to come.
Our original aim was to bring together successful women with Scottish connections who would enjoy making new contacts while raising funds for the National Trust for Scotland. I think perhaps the Scottish connection is now less obvious but the calibre of both speakers and guests is as exciting in our third year as it was in our first. We have a room full of very successful ladies being addressed by three phenomenally successful speakers.
The alacrity with which Katherine Garret-Cox, Dame Stephanie Shirley and Ruby Wax agreed to attend today's lunch belies the fact that they are all extremely busy people for whose generosity of spirit the Committee is immeasurably grateful. I'm sure we will all learn a great deal in a relatively short time.
Thank you all for your support and for the money today's event will provide to help to protect the puffins on St Kilda and Mingulay. The fact that this is a National Trust for Scotland project illustrates the breadth of conservation work for which the trust is responsible and for which it is constantly trying to raise funds.
We keep the ticket price for this lunch as low as we can and do hope that this will encourage you all to contribute generously to the raffle. Have a wonderful lunch, a very good year and the Committee looks forward to seeing you again next year.
When I asked Ruby, she said "Yes; just don't ask me to talk about plants." I forgot to mention Puffins.“
Susan Bain – National Trust for Scotland Western Isles Manager
After graduating in archaeology from Glasgow University Susan spent several years as a freelance archaeologist before joining the Trust on the Mar Lodge Estate in the Cairngorms in 1998.
After three years of developing and implementing an archaeological monitoring and management programme there she accepted the post of archaeologist on St Kilda. After four years, during which she was closely involved in the successful bid for cultural World Heritage status, she became the manager of the Western Isles properties and has overall responsibility for the dual World Heritage site of St Kilda as well as Mingulay, Pabbay and Berneray south of Barra and a ruined blackhouse in Calanais, Lewis.
Dame Stephanie Shirley - National Ambassador for Philanthropy
Dame Stephanie Shirley is a successful entrepreneur turned ardent philanthropist.
Having arrived in Britain on a Kindertransport in 1962 she started a woman's IT company (eventually acquired by Steria in 2007). In 25 years as its Chief Executive she developed it into a leading business technology group, pioneering new work practices and changing the position of women along the way.
Since retiring in 1993, she has served on corporate boards but her focus has been increasingly on philanthropy based on her strong belief in business people giving back to society. She is no longer on the Rich List having ceded a quarter of the company to the staff and given over £50m in grants via the charitable Shirley Foundation.
Dame Stephanie's main interests are making better use of IT in the voluntary sector and autism (her autistic son Giles died age 35 in 1998). She has initiated and funded a number of projects that are pioneering by nature and strategic in impact.
Now the (honorary) national Ambassador for Philanthropy she is galvanising philanthropists, philanthropic leaders and organisations to work together and encourage philanthropy. Her freedom and independence is targeted to transform giving not only by changing attitudes and behaviour but also by legal and financial reform.
As Ambassador for Philanthropy she has pledged
to inspire the idea that giving is a pleasurable act of desire and compassion to help, change or challenge any aspect of society by raising the bar on our capacity to be generous.
Katherine Garrett-Cox - Executive Director of Alliance Trust
Katherine is Chief Executive of Alliance Trust PLC. She joined the Trust as Chief Investment Officer in May 2007 and was appointed Chief Executive in September 2008. She is the youngest and one of four female chief executives in charge of a FTSE 100 company and the Trust has won the Opportunity Now Award for the last 2 years which recognises the number of women on the Board. She is also CEO of Alliance Trust Asset Management and Non-Executive Director of Alliance Trust Savings.
Having graduated from the University of Durham with a degree in History, Katherine joined Hill Samuel Asset Management as a portfolio manager, rising to be Investment Director, Head of American Equities at the age of 26, managing a range of retail and institutional mandates in excess of $5.5bn. The award winning team successfully beat the average of their fund management peers in both the UK and US for five years running. She took on her first Executive role as Chief Investment Officer and Executive Director of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC in 2000 where she managed both North American and Global Equity products.
In 2003 she was appointed at the Chief Investment Officer and Executive Director of Morley Fund Management, the fund management division of Aviva, the UK's largest insurance company, where she was responsible for more than £160bn invested in equities, fixed income, private equity and alternatives.
In 2000, Katherine featured as a member of the Ultimate Investment Club, for Money Magazine alongside Abby Joseph Cohen of Goldman Sachs and Peter Lynch of Fidelity Investments. She is a member of the UK Society of Investment Professionals; CFA Institute. She was nominated a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in October 2005 and since 2006 has served as a Trustee of the Baring Foundation. In 2008 she was appointed to the Board of Fellows of the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Katherine is married to Jeremy, who works in corporate finance, and they have four young children. She is an accomplished musician, playing the piano, the organ and the flute as well as being a very keen gardener. She lives in Angus, with a dog, two ferrets, a guinea pig, 12 chickens and a herd of highland cows.
Ruby Wax - Leadership Facilitator, Executive Coach
Ruby Wax is best known for her T.V. documentaries and interviews. She performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company for 5 years and was script editor for various shows including Absolutely Fabulous. Previously she studied psychology at the University of Berkeley, California and recently she has been studying for an MSc in Psychology and Neuroscience at UCL.
Since graduating she has been facilitating leadership groups to improve their communication skills as well as coaching and advising individual executives.
BAe, Orange, The Welsh Assembly, KPMG, Skype, eBay, London Business School, Women in Retail, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, The Home Office, Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals, Bayer
Kate Mavor – Chief Executive, the National Trust for Scotland
Kate Mavor was previously Chief Executive of ProjectScotland, the national youth volunteering charity, and Language Line, the UK's community interpreting service.
Kate began her career in book publishing and education after graduating from Oxford University. She is originally from Glasgow and now lives in Edinburgh.