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Matty Horkan

Live, Love, Learn, Share

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My love for animals started at a very young age. I was very lucky to be able to have pets growing up, this embedded my love for wildlife that has later developed into me wanting to protect wildlife and our planet. I am now in my last year of studying a Countryside and Wildlife Level 3 Diploma. Through this course I have been able to get a better understanding of ecology and the surrounding environment and to enhance my practical knowledge in this field.



I am a young, self-taught beekeeper and have been keeping them for the last three years on my family farm. For my 21st birthday, my friends bought me a beehive which started my beekeeping journey and I will never look back. It is hard for me to describe my relationship with them, but let's just say I enjoy them more than they enjoy me ! Each hive has a different temperament and over time they do start to get used to their keeper. I love the fact that I get to have a very unique insight into their little world and I can genuinely say that I love them. I love nothing better than being sat next to the hives on a warm day and speaking to my ladies as they fly in and out. In my time as a beekeeper it has taught me how important the smaller things are, these little girls play such a critical role in our survival. I now have three beehives and successfully harvested 160 jars of honey last season. I have been featured on Good Morning Brittan when Riyadh Khalaf came to the farm to film me talking about my bees  


Bear conservation in Italy 

Last year, I embarked on a journey to spend two months in Abruzzo, Italy to work with Salviamo l'Orso, a charity dedicated to saving the Marsican brown bear from extinction. My trip was funded by Wildlife Media, and I had the honor of representing them as an ambassador. The experience was nothing short of incredible. I got to work alongside students from all over the world, as we identified wildlife, learned about handling camera traps and monitoring systems while hiking in the mountains. It was a truly life-changing experience and it only fueled my passion for connecting humans to nature to improve mental well-being. Not only did I gain valuable skills to navigate difficult situations, but I also learned how to interact and co-exist with the local Italian people. One of my many highlights was being able to drive an automatic pickup truck in the mountains after only passing my driving test a few weeks before leaving. Being a part of a team of volunteers, I also developed my communication and management skills as we had to coordinate and organize our daily tasks. I also loved learning about all of the wildlife that call Abruzzo home and how by protecting the bears it improves the lives of all of the wildlife there. Trying to find the bears was an experience in itself! Unfortunately, there are only 50 individuals left, so protecting them is vital for the ecosystem in Italy. It was a great learning experience living and sharing a house with people from all around the world. Overall, this trip to Italy was a defining moment in my life, and I will never forget it.

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