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Our Team

Youngwilders started in 2020 as the passion project of a group of friends hellbent on helping nature recovery. Since 2022, we have functioned as a fully-fledged non-profit.


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Jack Durant - Co-founder and Co-Director 

Jack studied philosophy at undergraduate level before completing a Masters at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustinability at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. After a stint working as chemical pollution researcher, he turned to focus on YW full-time and now serves as a Co-Director and primary point of contact. Reach him at:

Molly Easton - Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer

Molly has worked in environmental policy and politics across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors for the last five years. Most recently, she was a Senior Adviser at Natural England, working on the Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Surrey, and Heathland Connections: a landscape-scale nature recovery project in West Surrey. From developing the communication and political strategy for environmental campaigns to launching a contest for young people to respond creatively to climate change in the run up to COP25, Molly is passionate about engaging and empowering audiences, particularly young people, to act on nature recovery. She holds an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial. 


Oscar is an environmental social scientist with expertise in conservation policy and digital transformations in environmental governance. He believes strongly in the vital role of people in co-producing a wilder landscape together with nature and, being half Finnish, champions 'jokamiehenoikeus' (everyone’s right/the freedom to roam) as a guiding principle for wilding. He advises Youngwilders in a part-time, voluntary capacity. 

Anya Doherty - Co-founder and Strategic Advisor

Noah Bennett - Co-Director and Chief Technical Officer

Anya first saw the word 'wilding' hidden away in a lecture slide while studying for her degree in Natural Sciences. It wasn't the most hands-on introduction, but she soon found herself making regular visits to some of the UK's seminal wilding sites, determined to learn more about how wilding could work on the ground. Anya later taught final-year undergraduates in Conservation Science. Since then she has been working as the Founder and CEO of Foodsteps, a startup focused on helping food businesses track and reduce their greenhouse gas footprint. She counts the Peak District as a major natural inspiration after spending time in the hills near her grandparent's house.  

Oscar Hartman-Davies - Co-founder and Lead Researcher

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Noah has a background in Environmental Engineering, with a particular focus on hydro-morphology, flooding, and river restoration, and graduated with an MEng in The Environment, Energy and Sustainability in 2019. Following his degree, Noah worked for several years as an engineering consultant on a wide number of environmental projects with both the private and public sector. 


Noah is now the technical lead at Youngwilders, responsible for the detailed design of our wilding projects as well as the behind the scenes mapping and calculations which support our work. Noah has a passion for improving watercourses as part of our projects, and believes that river restoration can be the cornerstone for connectivity between wild spaces.

Meg Cookson - Lead Ecologist


Meg is a seasoned field ecologist with a strong foundation in ecological restoration. Her journey led her to Youngwilders after providing guidance and developing nature recovery strategies for numerous estates across the UK. Meg's focal points encompass nature recovery metrics and biodiversity monitoring, including baseline surveys and ongoing management to showcase the positive impacts of nature recovery. Her unwavering passion for these aspects is rooted in her time as an ecological consultant, where she witnessed firsthand the loss of biodiversity in large-scale development projects throughout the UK.


In her role as Lead Ecologist at Youngwilders, Meg actively engages in mentoring young individuals and newcomers to the field, imparting insights into surveying techniques and management practices. Her commitment to educating the next generation in nature recovery is a driving force in her work at Youngwilders.


Layla Mapemba - Engagement Officer

Layla’s interest in birdwatching led her to explore the outdoors with newfound curiosity and fascination. Introduced to the environmental sector through the London Wildlife Trust confirmed what she already knew - she loves working with young people and is keen for all people to experience the wonders of the natural world. With an undergrad in Psychology and a passion for social justice, creating accessible and inclusive ways to experience nature runs throughout all of Layla’s work with Youngwilders.

Seniz Mustafa - Summer Intern 2023

Seniz is an ecology and conservation master’s student who interns with the Youngwilders. She focuses her studies on the behavioural ecology of birds and their impacts on their surrounding ecosystems. Previously studying the foraging behaviours of common terns at Chichester Harbour, she now studies the dietary preferences and feeding behaviours of the white storks at Knepp Estate. She has a history of working in natural history education, working for the Field Studies Council, and is a regular volunteer at the Booth Museum of Natural History. She is passionate about creating online science communication and encouraging environmentalism to be more accessible and inclusive. 


Iona McMillan - Summer Intern 2022

Studying a Geography BA to focus on her passion for connected justice for people and nature, Iona became fascinated by wilding and the promise it could hold for the future of our wildlife. Her dissertation explored the more-than-human relationships created through birdfeeding, and this belief in the importance of direct interaction and nature connectedness influences her perspective on rewilding. Iona is also a passionate advocate of the need for young voices in conservation, having been part of Keeping It Wild, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trusts Youth Team, since 2017. She is currently interning with Youngwilders before starting a Biodiversity, Conservation and Management Msc.


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