About Us

New Networks for Nature sought to bring together a broad alliance of individuals who in their personal and professional lives drew creative inspiration from the wildlife and landscapes of this country.

Our aim was to champion our national heritage and also explore the different media through which it can be understood, represented and celebrated. The group included writers, scientists, visual artists, musicians, conservationists and academics who met:

  • To emphasise the sheer diversity of responses to the natural world and ways of placing value on it, beyond the narrowly econometric;
  • To challenge the low priority placed nationally and politically on these key cultural assets; and
  • To make productive links with other individuals and organisations with similar purposes.

New Networks for Nature was a wholly voluntary organization. Founded by Tim Birkhead, Mark Cocker, John Fanshawe and Jeremy Mynott in 2009 and was run by a steering group.

In January 2016 New Networks for Nature became a registered charity, with the status of a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation). Our trustees were Tim Birkhead, Mary Colwell, John Fanshawe, Jeremy Mynott and Ruth Padel.

In January 2024 the trustees of New Networks for Nature took the difficult decision to wind down as a charity and as an entity. We did so with real regret but also with great pride at what had been achieved in the fifteen years of its life. We had created something quite new, which was an annual inspiration for all those participating. The list of those contributing over the years represents a remarkable roll-call of our leading naturalists and environmentalists, while we also helped give a platform to many less well-known enthusiasts and launched a few careers in the process. The decision to close was made necessary by a combination of changes in social behaviour post-Covid, the cost of living crisis, transport and travel uncertainties and not least the fact that we had, as hoped, helped to stimulate a growing number of regional meetings with the same ethos and objectives.

Click on any photo for a larger image and a slide show

Founders of New Networks, John Fanshawe, Tim Birkhead, Jeremy Mynott and Mark Cocker

“It’s not often you find yourself in a room full of such interesting new friends, with whom you have so much in common. I have rarely, if ever, met so many interesting people in so short a spell.”

John Aitchison, Film-maker and Author


New Networks for Nature aims:

  1. To challenge the low political emphasis placed nationally upon wildlife and nature
  2. To compel a deeper recognition of the central roles played by nature and landscape in the cultural life of this country
  3. To meet and to debate key issues about nature and landscape, and to provide a wider set of products (website, papers, books) to stimulate reflection upon these subjects
  4. To collaborate with like-minded partners and establish events that enable people of all backgrounds to express themselves creatively about nature and place
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