In the words of David Attenborough, ‘Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?’ Our guest this week couldn’t agree more and, in her chat with Colin, Hannah Debnam demystifies the unusual art of taxidermy.

Having always preferred the company of birds and animals, Hannah shares her life with what she describes as her ‘little zoo of live birds’. She talks to Colin about how her love for the beauty that she sees within nature first sparked her interest in taxidermy. She sees this as a way of preserving this beauty and ensuring that an animal or bird can continue to be loved and admired for years to come.

Hannah talks about her struggles since childhood with both her mental and physical health, and how she was left hospitalised with life-threatening complications after surgery in her mid-20s. Not long before this operation, Hannah had overcome a life-long fear of death, when she undertook her first taxidermy project; a roadkill wood pigeon. She knew she had a lot to learn, but Hannah never looked back and it was her love of taxidermy and her thirst for knowledge that got her through some very dark times.

Immortalising beautiful birds and animals is now Hannah’s full-time job and she is passionate about sharing how important taxidermy is for the future of British wildlife, in terms of education and research, enabling future generations to see what we see now.

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