The team

New Life on the Old West is coordinated by a specialist team, who are bringing their love and knowledge of wildlife to deliver our vision. Meet the team below.

Karen MacKelvie

Natural Heritage and Communities Officer

Karen is an Environmental Biologist by degree (St Andrews University), a therapist by diploma (Warwick University) and a community engager by nature. She has lived and worked on the peaty soils of Shetland for 25 years, working creatively to link people with wild spaces, for the benefit of their health and wellbeing and for the benefit of nature. Her internationally acclaimed Nature Prescriptions project (RSPB Scotland) is an example of the innovative way she likes to work.

Karen started with New Life on the Old West in 2024. Glad to be back on peaty soils again, after a stint as a ‘Nature Recovery Ranger’ at a hospital in North London, she looks forward to inviting people back into deeper connection with the wonderful wildlife of the fens.

Tate Oulton

Natural Heritage and Communities Officer

A laboratory research scientist by training, Tate worked for over seven years in the field of infectious disease and immunology before setting his sights on a career in conservation. Eight months spent as a full-time volunteer officer with the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire provided an immersive and highly varied introduction to life as an ecological conservationist, where he developed skills in conducting biological surveys, research and monitoring of habitats, land management, and practical conservation methods among others.

Tate has a particular interest in regenerative agriculture, and the role farms have to play in response to the climate crisis and environmental degradation. He is highly involved with a local farm cluster aiming to promote and encourage more sustainable and wildlife friendly practices on agricultural land.