12. Claire Smith

Claire Smith, a Senior Conservation Officer with RSPB Scotland was one of the team instrumental in the 2007 – 2011 East Scotland Sea Eagle Project that reintroduced these magnificent birds to Scotland.

Claire travelled to Norway, where she worked closely with members of the NOF, the RSPB’s Birdlife partner, to collect from nests containing twins and triplets. The project was licensed to bring in up to twenty chicks each year and once back in Scotland, Claire and the team looked after the chicks for around three months before releasing them.

In the decade since, the project has been deemed a huge success, with ongoing breeding and colonisation now well established, and birds spotted as far afield as Orkney and North England.

Her passion for this project continues; in 2020 Claire recorded a video sharing her feelings about the Sea Eagles being illegally killed on grouse moors, urging more to be done to ensure this criminal behaviour is punished.