George had been an adviser with FWAG for 15 years gaining a large amount of experience in agri-environment schemes, farmland birds, uplands and a range of other farmland issues.
Anna quickly joined the business as a result of an increased workload in spring 2012. The primary aim of George Dodds & Co is to provide a professional environmental consultancy service to the farmers, landowners and partner organisations in Northumberland and beyond.
I was born and brought up in Berwick upon Tweed with a strong interest in the natural environment. My father’s butchery business did not lure me to stay in Berwick.
I studied for an honours degree in Ecology from Stirling University after which I worked on the Farne Islands as a warden for the National Trust before joining the RSPB. At the RSPB, I worked in the research department for three and half years looking at breeding waders in Scotland, land use and disturbance factors in-and-around British estuaries and the foraging behaviour of barn owls on farmland. After the research department, I moved to the advisory service within the RSPB, developing series of leaflets and booklets on declining farmland birds.
In 1996, I moved to the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group in Leicestershire & Rutland. 1999 saw a move north to Northumberland for FWAG. In November 2011, FWAG went into administration and I was made redundant. George Dodds & Co was established in early 2012.
Outside interests include birdwatching, moth trapping, watching rugby, growing show leeks and carpet bowls.
Growing up in rural Northumberland has ensured that I have a strong connection with the countryside and I enjoy spending much of my spare time outdoors on foot or horseback.
I graduated from Lancaster University (2004) and Newcastle University (2006) with a Geography BSc and a Wildlife Conservation & Management MSc respectively. Following my studies I embarked on a six month voluntary post with BTCV in Yorkshire where I had the chance to lead volunteers in hedge laying, drystone walling, small tree felling, tree & hedge planting, thistle clearance and path building.
In 2007 I moved to Scotland where I worked as an assistant woodland officer with the Woodland Trust, I was promoted to woodland officer in 2008 and moved back to the north east of England where I managed 29 woodlands across the region.
In 2010 I was offered a post with FWAG, this was a fantastic opportunity to gain more experience in the agricultural sector; with George Dodds as my line manager I learnt a great deal and thoroughly enjoyed the survey work and agri-environment applications.
When FWAG disbanded in 2011 it proved to be the catalyst required for George to set up his own business, within a few months we were back in the office and continuing to assist and advise our clients, old and new. I have been George’s business partner since January 2017.