Sir John Lister-Kaye, 8th Baronet of Grange, OBE, is one of Scotland’s best-known naturalists. He is the author of ten books and a professional lecturer.
He has served nature conservation for over 45 years, including being Scottish Chairman of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, President of the Scottish Wildlife Trust and a Vice-President of the Association for the Preservation of Rural Scotland. John is currently one of several Vice Presidents of the RSPB.
He served the boards of the Nature Conservancy Council, the Forestry Commission and the Environmental Training Organisation.
1970: John formed Highland Wildlife Enterprises, based in Tomich, near Glen Affric.
1972: this became Scotland’s first Field Studies Centre.
1977: he founded the internationally acclaimed Aigas Field Centre, which handles 5,000 local school children and 500 adults on wildlife courses and holidays each year.
1982: he became the 8th Baronet of Grange on the death of his father.
1983: he won the Wilderness Society’s Gold Award for environmental education
1992: he became the first Highlands & Islands Chairman for Scottish Natural Heritage.
1995: the University of Stirling awarded him an honorary doctorate for services to the Highland environment;
2000: he was awarded the first ever Honorary Membership of the Scottish Wildlife Trust;
2003: he received an OBE for services to nature conservation in the New Year’s honours
2006: he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of St Andrews for his contribution to nature writing and conservation.
2016: he was awarded the inaugural Writer's Prize by the Richard Jefferies Society for "Gods of the Morning" published in 2015.
2016: he was awarded the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Geddes Award for services to conservation, and made an honorary FRSGS. 2018: 'The Dun Cow Rib' was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2018, and in November John received a Lifetime Achievement Award from RSPB Nature of Scotland awards ceremony in Edinburgh.
Sir John has lectured throughout the world on wildlife and the environment. He is a frequent contributor in the Telegraph and is the author of ten books on wildlife and his best seller, Song of the Rolling Earth – A Highland Odyssey, published in 2003 has received widespread critical acclaim. Its sequel, Nature’s Child, was published early in 2004, followed by At The Water’s Edge in 2010 (voted Waterstone's Scottish Book of the Month in February 2010). In 2015, his next book Gods of the Morning was published in March, which was also voted Waterstone's Scottish Book of the Month shortly after publication. His new book, The Dun Cow Rib, was published in August 2017.
He has led expeditions to wilderness areas such as the Kalahari and Namib Deserts, Arctic Lapland, Galapagos, the Amazon Basin and the Atlas mountains. In March 2003 he took his wife and daughters to Svalbard to follow the polar bear migration across the pack ice of the Barents Sea, only 350 miles from the North Pole, and in 2008/9 undertook a four month Land Rover expedition with his son and youngest daughter exploring the Rift Valley in East Africa.
In his spare time he is passionate about planting trees, a keen horseman and an enthusiastic digger driver as well as being a bad poet. He and his wife Lucy live at the House of Aigas, near Beauly.