John Picton

John was born & bred in the Chilterns, and inherited his love of wildlife from his parents, meaning he has been a birder and naturalist since the age of eight.

Family holidays were always based around birding & walking which is how he first came to the Highlands in the early 1980's, fell in love with the place and came back annually until moving here in 2011.

After studying for a Diploma in Ornithology then a BSc (Hons) Degree in Wildlife Ecology, Conservation & Managment, he went on to work with the Forestry Commission as a ranger in the Forest of Dean then as a warden for the RSPB on the Nene Washes Reserve in the Cambridgeshire fens, and was involved with the Corncrake reintroduction there. 

He became a full time guide after moving to Strathspey nearly 10 years ago. John is a good all-round naturalist but specialises in birds and mammals, with a particular love of raptors and Pine Martens. 

When not guiding he will still be found in the forests of Strathspey walking his wolf-dog and tracking the local wildlife. He also enjoys relaxing with some good rock music, a good film, book or series and watching his beloved Man Utd in action. 

Follow this Guide

  • NEW! High Summer Highland Wildlife

    £1295 pp, No single supplement. Deposit £200

    Superb wildlife watching from the mountains to the sea

  • Highlands and the Outer Hebrides

    Highlands and the Outer Hebrides

    • 03 Aug - 10 Aug 2019
      Special Offer

    £1395 pp, No single supplement. Deposit £200

    A week long summer holiday to the Highlands and the Southern Outer Hebrides

  • Highlands and the Outer Hebrides

    Highlands and the Outer Hebrides

    • 10 Aug - 17 Aug 2019
      Special Offer

    £1395 pp, No single supplement. Deposit £200

    A week long summer holiday to the Highlands and the Southern Outer Hebrides

  • Twenty Scottish Specials

    Twenty Scottish Specials

    • 31 Aug - 07 Sep 2019
      Special Offer

    £1295 pp, No single supplement. Deposit £200

    Early Autumn birding at its best

  •  Raptors and Grouse

    Raptors and Grouse

    • 14 Sep - 21 Sep 2019
      Special Offer

    £1395 pp, No single supplement. Deposit £200

    The best of the Highlands in early Autumn

  • The 'Outer Limits' Adventure

    The 'Outer Limits' Adventure

    • 21 Sep - 28 Sep 2019
      Special Offer

    £1395 pp, No single supplement. Deposit £200

    A real adventure! Birding the Highlands in peak migration time including a two night stay on the Outer Hebrides!

  • Outer Hebrides in Autumn for birders

    £1545 pp, £95 single supplement. Deposit £200

    Rarity hunting in the Outer Hebrides, birding South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, Berneray, Harris and Lewis!

  • Highlands and Skye in Autumn

    Highlands and Skye in Autumn

    • 12 Oct - 19 Oct 2019
      Special Offer

    £1395 pp, No single supplement. Deposit £200

    A superb celebration of Autumn across the Highlands, featuring two nights on the stunning Isle of Skye!

  • Short Breaks - Scottish Birding in Autumn

    Short Breaks - Scottish Birding in Autumn

    • 02 Nov - 06 Nov 2019
      Special Offer

    £745 pp, No single supplement. Deposit £200

    Three days exciting autumnal birding including an Aberdeenshire day trip

  • Birders Blast!

    Birders Blast!

    • 06 Nov - 10 Nov 2019
      Special Offer

    £745 pp, No single supplement. Deposit £200

    Fast paced and fun winter birding short breaks in the Scottish Highlands

  • Forest of Dean and Somerset Levels

    £1795 pp, £185 single supplement. Deposit £200

    Excellent winter birding, including some difficult and highly sought-after UK species.

  • Forest of Dean and Somerset Levels

    £1795 pp, £185 single supplement. Deposit £200

    Excellent winter birding, including some difficult and highly sought-after UK species.

  • Orkney and the Flow Country

    Orkney and the Flow Country

    • 16 May - 23 May 2020

    £1695 pp, £125 single supplement. Deposit £200

    Birding and wildlife in the far north of Scotland

About Heatherlea Holidays

Contact Information

The Mountview Hotel, Nethybridge,
PH25 3EB Scotland

T: 01479 821248

E: