Clongowes Union are delighted to announce that Níall Beddy OC 04 is our Alumnus of the Year 2019.

Niall, emigrated to South Africa in 2010 with the aim of volunteering with a wildlife conservation programme for a few months, ten years later he is still there.  A thoroughly devoted and selfless young man, Níall spent his time working in the African bush without pay, often in difficult and arduous conditions.  Below is a brief outline of his work to date.

Niall trained as a terrestrial field guide, earning his stripes assisting with conservation research on Big 5 Nature Reserves.  Níall specialises in the behaviour and monitoring of some of Africa’s most endangered species, like Wild Dogs, Cheetah, Elephant and in more recent years Rhino and Pangolin.  After multiple poaching events in 2013, he began working with private reserve owners in the Northern Limpopo Province to provide protection and financial assistance against poaching for populations of white and black rhinoceros.  Working with various NPO’s he provides field training in anti-poaching procedures and wildlife monitoring for their personnel.

As part of the effort to show the importance of biodiverse landscapes, he has created a citizen science program through WILD LIFE Conservation NPO that gathers valuable data on leopards and hyena which assists with understanding predator populations and their densities.  This program teaches people visiting Africa from all over the world about conservation research and the management of wildlife and habitat.

Through his love of animals and determination to make a difference, Níall now runs a conservation project on a 18,000 hectare site.  His business management skills have seen him attract and inspire hundreds of willing volunteers to work with his not-for-profit organisation ‘Wild Heart Conservation’.  The work he carries out provides crucial data to university based researchers on the protection of White Rhinos and leopards.  He has overseen the de-horning of Rhino as means of protecting them from poaching.  His efforts, along with that of other similarly mind conservationists, are gently causing poaching fatalities to drop and Rhino numbers to increase.


His principal aim was, and remains, to develop a deep knowledge and understanding of his environment and the world’s natural heritage, while educating people about habitat and wildlife conservation.

Niall is also a published photographer focused on conservation photography. He has successfully leveraged his photography skills to raise awareness of serious and relevant wildlife issues through social media and magazines.


Check out Niall’s work here