Presenters

2017 / Nature Matters: Changing Nature

Carry AkroydCarry Akroyd is a painter and printmaker whose subject is the landscape, with a particular interest in history and wildlife. A member of the Society of Wildlife Artists, she is the jacket artist for British Wildlife Publishing’s The British Wildlife Collection series of books, and illustrated Tweet of the Day, the book of the Radio 4 series. She has also illustrated three books of John Clare’s poetry, and continues to create a seam of work relating to the ‘Peasant Poet’ and his relevance to today. Carry curated and edited Wildlife in Printmaking, and has written a book about her own work and inspirations, natures powers & spells: Landscape Change, John Clare and me. She exhibits regularly in a few small galleries.
www.carryakroyd.co.uk

Doug AllanDoug Allan spent seven years in Antarctica as a research diver, scientist and photographer for the British Antarctic Survey, before changing direction to full time filming in 1983. Since then he has become one of the world’s best-known and respected cameramen. He specialises in natural history, expeditions and science documentaries in some of the wildest and most remote places on our planet, particularly the polar zones. In his 30-year filming career he’s worked for the BBC, Discovery, National Geographic and many others, filming for series like The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, Ocean Giants and Operation Iceberg. In the last couple of years he’s covered the issue of overfishing around the globe through the documentary The Missing Fish, filmed with the US based Living Oceans Foundation. His photographic awards include eight Emmys and four BAFTAs. He has twice won the underwater category in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and has four Honorary Doctorates in recognition of his camerawork, as well as two Polar Medals.

Michael AstorMichael Astor has developed his farming estate since the 1980s into a diverse rural business, including property lettings, 15,000 sq. ft. of business units, a thoroughbred stable yard, woodland management, 1,200 acres of heavy land arable farming, and a pedigree heard of beef shorthorn cattle, alongside a consideration for sustainability and environmental enhancement for wildlife. In the 1980s Astor became involved in the Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust, then called CAMBIENT, to try and bridge the gap between conservationists and farmers. He has been involved in various conservation organisations, and since 2004 has chaired the West Cambridge Hundreds group, which combines farmers, landowners, managers and conservation bodies to oversee 20,000 hectares to connect the wildlife hot spots on a landscape level. Astor is an electronics engineer, and has had experience in agricultural engineering research, as well as agricultural education. He is now semi-retired from thirty years working in financial services.

Patrick BarkhamPatrick Barkham is a Natural History Writer for the Guardian where he has reported on everything from the Iraq War to climate change. His first book, The Butterfly Isles, was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. His second, Badgerlands, was hailed by Chris Packham as “a must read for all Britain’s naturalists” and was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and the Wainwright Prize. Badgerlands won the best general non-fiction prize at the East Anglian Book Awards 2014. Coastlines (2015) was judged “an informative, enthusiastic and at times rapturous celebration of our shores” by Blake Morrison. Patrick’s latest book, Islander, is a journey to meet the human and non-human residents of Britain’s smaller isles – a celebration of currents that flow away from the mainstream. It is published in October this year.

Michael BentonMichael Benton is a palaeontologist who has made fundamental contributions to understanding the history of life. He is interested in drivers all aspects of macroevolution, including the Permo–Triassic mass extinction, the largest mass extinction of all time. He is also interested in dinosaur feathers and colour, and was one of the first to show evidence for the colour of a dinosaur, and was part of the team that announced the first dinosaur tail in amber. He has written more than 50 books, including engaging books for children as well as several leading palaeontology textbooks for university students. Mike Benton founded the MSc in Palaeobiology at Bristol in 1996, from which more than 320 students have graduated. He has supervised more than 65 PhD students. He is currently Head of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014.

Tim BirkheadTim Birkhead is a professor of behaviour and evolution at the University of Sheffield. His research on promiscuity and sperm competition in birds helped to re-shape current understanding of bird mating systems. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004. As well as a passion for research, Tim is committed to undergraduate teaching and the public understanding of science. His talks (like The Early Birdwatchers) and popular science books have gained widespread recognition: The Wisdom of Birds (2008) won ‘bird book of the year award’ and Bird Sense (2012) was short-listed for the Royal Society Winton Prize. His most recent books are Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin (2014) and The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird’s Egg (2016).

Isabelle CharmantierIsabelle Charmantier gained a PhD in history of science from the University of Sheffield in 2008, which was followed by a post-doctoral position at the University of Exeter (2009–2013), working on a Wellcome Trust funded project on Carl Linnaeus’s manuscripts. Having retrained as an archivist, she was employed by the Linnean Society to catalogue Linnaeus’s manuscripts (2013–2015). After 18 months as Collections Manager at the Freshwater Biological Association (Cumbria), Isabelle is now Deputy Collections Manager at the Linnean Society of London.

Mary ColwellMary Colwell is a writer and producer of TV, radio and internet programmes, specialising in the areas of natural history and religion. She has made major Radio 4 series such as Natural Histories, Saving Species and Shared Planet. For TV she produced British Isles – A Natural History, Bill Oddie Goes Wild, Wildlife On One and Natural World. In 2009 she won a Radio Academy Sony Gold for a podcast about a prisoner caring for a budgerigar. Her first book, John Muir – The Man Who Saved America’s Wild Places, was published in 2014. At present she is working on her second book, Curlew Moon, about her 500 mile walk to raise awareness about the decline of curlews in Britain and Ireland.
www.curlewmedia.com

Mya-Rose CraigMya-Rose Craig is a 15-year-old British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She has birded all the continents and was the youngest to see 4000 birds. She was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador and has also been listed as one of Bristol’s most influential young people. She is an Ambassador for World Shorebird Day, See it her Way and a Charter Champion for The Charter for Trees, Woods and People. She has organised Camp Avalon for 3 years, a camp for young naturalists and Minority Ethnic teenagers and the Race Equality in Nature Conference in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature. She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of BAME people as well as the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group. She hopes to become a nature presenter.

Dafydd Davies-HughesDafydd Davies-Hughes is a storyteller. Drawing on a life of work, play and discovery in wild places and a passion for his native Welsh folklore and mythology he weaves stories that stir and tantalise the senses and reveal the magical in everyday experiences. From the wanderings of migrating seabirds and spawning salmon to the hero’s journey – we find in these stories words that inspire and sustain us. You’ll never see this land, these mountains, woods and the rivers and the old stone bridge in the same way ever again. Dafydd shares stories in both Welsh and English, with harp and flute, to communities, at festivals and at schools and colleges and currently runs Felin Uchaf a Cultural and Environmental Education Centre on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales where he uses storytelling as a tool for enabling people to explore their connection with their landscape, and to help them realise their own visions and aspirations.

Mike EdwardsMike Edwards has spent much of his life trying to prevent the destruction of ‘wild’ spaces – both real and imagined. He lived in Australia for 11 years where he did a PhD on the links between climate change and security. Since completing his PhD, Mike has dedicated himself to music and teaching. Over the past 17 years, he has roamed the world playing didgeridoo and teaching people why it is crucial to love nature. Mike is the co-founder of Sound Matters, an organisation that uses sound and music to raise awareness of climate change and other environmental issues. Mike has lectured on climate change at universities around the world, acted as a climate change consultant to numerous Non-Governmental Organisations, and was Climate Change Advisor to The Elders in the run-up to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris.

John FanshaweJohn Fanshawe is an author and environmentalist based in north Cornwall. Over the last three decades, he has worked on bird and biodiversity conservation in the UK, Kenya and Tanzania; primarily for the charity BirdLife. With Terry Stevenson, he is co-author of a field guide, Birds of East Africa (2001), and with Nigel Redman and Terry Stevenson of Birds of the Horn of Africa (2009). With Mark Cocker, he edited and published the complete works of the author J. A. Baker, including The Peregrine, in 2010. Working as a senior strategy adviser for BirdLife, and as an arts, science and conservation adviser for the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), he has a particular interest in the role of arts practice in conservation, is a member of the research cluster RANE, and has an MA in Art and Environment from University College Falmouth.

Erica FudgeErica Fudge is a historian of animals and teaches in the School of Humanities at the University of Strathclyde. She is also director of the British Animal Studies Network, a network that brings together scholars, NGOs and others from the arts, humanities, social sciences as well as natural sciences, with an interest in human-animal relations. She has had a number of articles about human-animal relations in History Today (including essays on bestiality, early veterinary care, and the history of meat avoidance), and has published academic work on legal, scientific and religious attitudes towards animals in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; as well as a book on the debates about animal rationality in that period titled Brutal Reasoning. She has just completed the first detailed archival study of people and their livestock in the early seventeenth century which will be published as Quick Cattle and Dying Wishes in 2018.

Philip HoarePhilip Hoare is the author of eight works of non-fiction, including Leviathan, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize for 2009. His latest book, RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR, is published by Fourth Estate, and tells human and animal stories of the sea. He wrote and presented the BBC 2 film, The Hunt for Moby-Dick, and directed three short films for BBC 4, Philip Hoare’s Guide to Whales. Philip is professor of creative writing at the University of Southampton. He also volunteers for the Dolphin Whalewatch in Cape Cod, where friends accuse him of spending more time with whales than with human beings.
www.philiphoare.co.uk   Twitter feed: @philipwhale

Rebecca HoskingRebecca Hosking is a tenant farmer at Village Farm, 175 acres of organic pasture and woodland on the coastal tip of south Devon. Awarded an MBE for her work in wildlife conservation, Rebecca describes the ethos of Village Farm as “Farming With Nature” where only agroecological practices are used and where wild and domestic species are considered of equal importance.

Heather HuntHeather Hunt trained as a clinical and child psychologist in the NHS. She now puts time and energy into managing an ancient woodland and an adjacent field, enjoying and exploring the different ways a diverse range of people engage with and benefit from nature.

Richard KerridgeRichard Kerridge is a nature writer and ecocritic. Cold Blood: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians, published by Chatto & Windus in 2014, is a mixture of memoir and nature writing. Richard’s work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in BBC Wildlife, Poetry Review and Granta. He was awarded the 2012 Roger Deakin Prize by the Society of Authors, and has twice received the BBC Wildlife Award for Nature Writing. Richard leads the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and has published numerous essays giving environmental readings of literature. He was co-editor of Writing the Environment, the first collection of ecocritical essays to be published in Britain, and a leading member of the team of creative writers and scientists led by SueEllen Campbell that wrote The Face of the Earth: Natural Landscapes, Science and Culture.

Juniper KissJuniper Kiss is an undergraduate student at Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge) on the Marine Biology with Biodiversity and Conservation course. She has worked with invasive species and biocontrol agent testing at CABI (Egham) and agricultural crop variety testing at NIAB (Cambridge). She used image analysis for oilseed rape petals, pods and cotyledons for over 300,000 samples in a year, and is now doing her dissertation on geometric morphometric analysis of brambles (subgenus Rubus), trying to untangle their complex and prickly taxonomy. She is also passionate about science communication, public outreach and publishing. She started up GOES magazine, an open access magazine written and designed by students. She was awarded the Golden Opportunities Scholarship by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science and Soil Science (2016) and the Anglia Trust Foundation Scholarship three times (2014, 2015 and 2016) to travel to the Namib Desert, Finland and Nepal.

Nishant KumarNishant Kumar is a DPhil student and Felix scholar at the University of Oxford, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). He is supervised by Drs. Andrew Gosler, Fabrizio Sergio, and Profs. Yadvendradev Jhala and Qamar Qureshi. He studies the urban ecology of the Black Kite Milvus migrans in Delhi, a heterogeneous capital and the fastest growing mega-city with 25 million human inhabitants. Kites, a human commensal bird of prey in the Subcontinent, offer a unique opportunity to study the urban adaptations of a top trophic predator (e.g. population ecology, behavioural ecology, spatial ecology, ethnic relations, etc.). Since his MSc at WII, his team has imparted research training to 85 undergraduate students, conservation education to the more than 30,000 citizens in streets, and inspired 200 top meritorious school children through demonstration of research protocols in association with Delhi University and the Dept. of Science & Technology, Government of India. Nishant is the Christian Howey Raising Scholar for the year 2017.

Sam LeeSam Lee is a singer and song collector whose repertoire, steeped in folklore and history, is inspired by the natural world. His first album was nominated for the 2012 Mercury Music Prize. Subsequent achievements include the award-winning Singing with Nightingales.
www.samleesong.co.uk

Georgia LocockGeorgia Locock has crammed more into her first 18 years than many twice her age. Describing herself as a ‘blogger and writer’, she was a local patch reporter and Blogger of the Week for BBC Wildlife in 2015. She contributed to the Wildlife Trust Summer anthology in 2016 and was awarded a Young Darwin scholarship by the Field Studies Council in the same year. She is a regular contributor to the YoungMinds blog, the Badger Trust’s magazine Badger News and the Staffordshire Badger Conservation Group’s newsletter. She particularly enjoys using trail cameras to capture footage of nocturnal wildlife, as well as birding, campaigning and sharing her fascination of the natural world in the hope of inspiring others.

Davy McCrackenDavy McCracken is Professor of Agricultural Ecology and an Associate of SRUC’s Rural Policy Centre. He has over 25 years’ experience of investigating the relationships between European farming systems and farmland biodiversity. The focus of Davy’s research to-date has revolved around obtaining a greater understanding of the complex ecological relationships between farm management practices and the improvement or maintenance of the biodiversity value of UK and European farming systems.

Harriet MeadHarriet Mead is an award-winning sculptor and the President of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA). The influence of her late father, the ornithologist, author and broadcaster, Chris Mead, meant it was probably inevitable that she should take an interest in natural history and use it in her work. During her time at the helm of the SWLA, Harriet has worked to broaden their audience and to shrug off the negative connotations of wildlife art. Having worked on various projects with the Artists for Nature Foundation, she also has plans to encourage conservation organisations to make use of the SWLA pool of artists to help bring a different perspective to their projects and to highlight areas of conservation concern all over the world.
www.harrietmead.co.uk

Jeremy MynottJeremy Mynott spent most of his professional career in publishing at Cambridge University Press, working successively as editor, editorial director, managing director and chief executive. He is an Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. Jeremy has had a life-long interest in the natural world, in particular birds. He has explored the variety of human responses to birds in Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience (2009), a book described by reviewers as ‘the finest book ever written about why we watch birds’ (Guardian), ‘a ground-breaking work’ (British Birds) and ‘wonderful rumination on birds and birders through space and time for anyone interested in our relationship with nature’ (THES). His current project is a book about Birds in the Ancient World. He has broadcast on radio and television, and is a regular reviewer in the TLS and a founder member of New Networks for Nature.
www.jeremymynott.org

Ian NewtonIan Newton has enjoyed lifetime interests in both farming and birds. As a child, he spent much of his time on farms, and later in life in his ‘spare time’ he managed a small commercial fruit farm producing apples and pears. Now retired, he worked throughout his career as a population ecologist, having done detailed research on finches, waterfowl and raptors. For many years he was based at Monks Wood Research Station near Huntingdon, in charge of work on pesticide impacts on wildlife. He is a past President of the British Ecological Society and the British Ornithologists’ Union, a past Chairman of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the British Trust for Ornithology. He has authored around 300 papers in the scientific literature, and several books, including Finches, Bird Populations and the recent Farming and Birds, all in the New Naturalist Series.

Derek NiemannDerek Niemann has spent 28 years as a volunteer and professional communicator in nature conservation, making up for a lost childhood in which he was “an enthusiastic, untutored and inept naturalist”. In November 2014 he left the RSPB to become a freelance writer and editor, after spending 16 years as editor of the RSPB’s youth magazines. He has been a fortnightly Country Diarist for the Guardian since 2005 and is also a regular contributor to BBC Wildlife. He has written a number of wildlife books for children, as well as Birds in a Cage, the true story of POW birdwatchers. Derek lives in a county that its own council used to undersell spectacularly on road signs that proclaimed: “Welcome to Bedfordshire – central to the Oxford–Cambridge Arc”.
www.whispersfromthewild.co.uk

Alice OwenAlice Owen is an environment professional with 12 years’ experience in protected area management and wildlife conservation in East Africa. She has practical experience in the challenges of wildlife management, including conservation of biodiversity hotspots in areas of rural poverty. She is now a UK resident and is currently undertaking a Master’s degree course in Wildlife Filmmaking, with the intention of pursuing a career linked to wildlife conservation and public communication. In the UK, she has previously held a position as an Operations Assistant at the Soil Association. She has also volunteered with the Somerset Wildlife Trust and with an independent microbiology lab.

James ParryJames Parry is a writer and consultant specialising in history, heritage, wildlife and the environment. After training as a conservation officer with English Heritage, he joined the British Council, working in East Africa and the Middle East before returning to the UK to do a Master’s degree and then joining the National Trust as its academic editor. He now leads wildlife and heritage tours and writes on natural history and conservation for various newspapers and magazines, including BBC Wildlife, Country Life, Countryfile and BirdWatching. He has also written several books, including Global Safari (2007), Rainforest Safari (2008) and The Mating Lives of Birds (2012). He is currently working on a book about Emma Turner, the pioneering early 20th-century bird photographer.
www.jamesvparry.com

Jack PerksJack Perks is a wildlife photographer specialising in freshwater fish. Wildlife has always been his passion and inspiration throughout his career as a Natural History photographer. His early memories are fishing with a net and ice cream tub catching bullheads and tadpoles which eventually lead to him picking up a camera and documenting wildlife. His main focus is underwater photography, particularly in rivers. He has filmed and featured on Springwatch, Countryfile, The One Show & Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing.
www.jackperksphotography.com

Katrina PorteousKatrina Porteous is a poet, historian and broadcaster, much of whose work involves a detailed and loving celebration of the people, landscapes and wildlife of the Northumbrian coast where she lives. She has written extensively about local inshore fishing traditions, and often works in collaboration with artists and musicians, including painter James Dodds (Longshore Drift) and piper Chris Ormston (The Wund an’ the Wetter). Her long poems for BBC radio with producer Julian May include Dunstanburgh, The Refuge Box, and – with electronic composer Peter Zinovieff – Horse and Edge. Her most recent poetry collection is Two Countries (Bloodaxe, 2014).
www.katrinaporteous.co.uk

Emily RichardsonEmily Richardson is a UK based filmmaker who creates film portraits of particular places. Her work focuses on sites in transition and covers an extraordinarily diverse range of landscapes including empty East London streets, forests, North Sea oil fields, post-war tower blocks, empty cinemas and Cold War military facilities. She is currently doing a practice-led PhD on modern architectural space in artists’ film and video at the Royal College of Art in London. Her films have been shown in galleries, museums and festivals internationally. She was awarded the Gilles Dusein Prize, Paris 2009 in recognition of her films. Her work is distributed by Lux, London and Light Cone, Paris.
www.emilyrichardson.org.uk

Helen ScalesHelen Scales is an author, documentary-maker and oceans expert. Among her BBC Radio documentaries she’s searched for the perfect wave and explored the dream of living underwater; she’s also discussed the scientific wonders of the deep with Robin Ince and Brian Cox on The Infinite Monkey Cage and donated an aquarium tank of pregnant male seahorses to The Museum of Curiosity. Her latest book, the Guardian bestseller Spirals in Time about seashells and molluscs, was a book of the year in The Economist, Nature and The Times, shortlisted for the Royal Society of Biology book award and appeared (narrated by Helen) on Radio 4’s Book of the Week. She teaches marine science at Cambridge University’s Madingley Hall and is scientific advisor for the charity Sea Changers, which supports UK-based marine conservation. Her next book Eye of the Shoal (due out in 2018) follows the trail of fish through the underwater world.
www.helenscales.com

Tim SmitSir Tim Smit is best known for his achievements in Cornwall. He ‘discovered’ and then restored the Lost Gardens of Heligan with John Nelson, and today Heligan is one of the UK’s best loved gardens. Tim is Executive Vice-Chairman, and Co-founder of the multi Award winning Eden Project in Cornwall. Eden began as a dream in 1995 and opened its doors to the public in 2000, since when more than 18 million people have come to see what was once a sterile pit, turned into a cradle of life containing world-class horticulture and startling architecture symbolic of human endeavour.

Steve WatersSteve Waters is a playwright who also writes for television and radio. His plays include Limehouse (Donmar Warehouse, 2017), Temple (Donmar 2015), The Contingency Plan (The Bush Theatre 2009) and the monologue In a Vulnerable Place (2014), all published by Nick Hern Books. His work for radio includes Deep Swimmer (R4, 2016) and Bretton Woods (R3, 2014). Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, his book The Secret Life of Plays is also published by Nick Hern.


Previous Presenters

2016 / Nature Matters: In Touch with the Wild

ATM (ATMstreetart) paints endangered species street art, using urban walls as a stark reminder of the species that once lived here, yet could again with regeneration of habitats. There is an urgent need to reverse the catastrophic decline of so many once-common species. The painted walls exist to call attention to the beauty and importance of those living creatures that are so often overlooked and whose needs so often ignored. By bringing colour and beauty to neglected areas the hope is to inspire active participation in further environmental improvements. Small changes repeated on a large scale can have dramatically positive effects. The aim is to help inspire a transformation of our towns, cities and countryside by renaturing and rewilding. Then the art will have achieved its purpose.

David AttenboroughSir David Attenborough has been a leading figure in British broadcasting since he joined the BBC in 1952, and created his now famous Zoo Quest programmes. Born in 1926, Sir David studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, before spending two years in the Navy. From 1965, he was Controller of BBC2, a period that launched pioneering television like Civilization and The Ascent of Man, but returned to filmmaking in 1972, and to his collaboration with BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol. From Life on Earth in 1979, Sir David created a succession of remarkable programmes, including Trials of Life (1990), Life of Birds (1998), Life in the Undergrowth (2005), Life in Cold Blood (2007), and Life that Glows (2016), films that have become the benchmark for natural history production. The new home of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative is named for Sir David, and celebrates both his association with the University of Cambridge, and his influence on worldwide generations of naturalists and conservationists, many of who work for CCI Partners in the UK and overseas.

Andrew Balmford is Professor of Conservation Science in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, where his main research interests are the costs and benefits of effective conservation, and exploring how conservation might best be reconciled with land-demanding activities such as farming. To have most impact he focuses his research in developing countries and collaborates closely with conservation practitioners and with colleagues in other disciplines. He helped establish the Cambridge Conservation Forum, the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and the annual Student Conference on Conservation Science. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011, and since 2013 has served as a Trustee of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Europe’s largest conservation charity. His 2012 book Wild Hope highlights success stories in conservation and argues that cautious optimism is essential in tackling environmental challenges.

Tim BirkheadTim Birkhead is a professor of behaviour and evolution at the University of Sheffield. His research on promiscuity and sperm competition in birds helped to re-shape current understanding of bird mating systems. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004. As well as a passion for research, Tim is committed to undergraduate teaching and the public understanding of science. His talks (like The Early Birdwatchers) and popular science books have gained widespread recognition: The Wisdom of Birds (2008) won ‘bird book of the year award’ and Bird Sense (2012) was short-listed for the Royal Society Winton Prize. His most recent books are Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin (2014) and The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird’s Egg (2016).

Sharon Blackie is a writer whose work sits at the interface of ecology, psychology and mythology; she is also the co-editor of the nature writing magazine EarthLines. Her recent book, If Women Rose Rooted, is an exploration of contemporary problems of place and belonging, and examines the wisdom which can be derived from the stories and the wild landscapes of Europe’s Atlantic fringes.

Alison Brackenbury was born in Lincolnshire in 1953. She is descended from four generations of prize-winning shepherds. Her own poems have won an Eric Gregory Award and a Cholmondeley Award. Singing in the Dark, her Radio 3 feature about the stubborn survival of traditional song, was a Radio Times Choice: ‘evocative, amusing and utterly compelling’. Her ninth collection, Skies, (Carcanet, 2016), was featured in Radio 4’s Front Row, The Guardian and The Independent, and was chosen as The Observer’s Poetry Book of the Month. Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales, wrote: ‘Alison Brackenbury loves, lives, hymns and rhymes the natural world and its people like no other poet’. New poems can be read at her website: www.alisonbrackenbury.co.uk

Sir Charles Burrell, 10th Baronet, is an English landowner. He was educated at Millfield and studied Higher National Diploma in Agriculture and Advanced Farm Management at Cirencester Royal Agricultural College. Upon inheriting Knepp Castle Estate in West Sussex from his grandparents in 1983 he threw his energy into the farm business yet despite intensifying for seventeen years, farming on the heavy Sussex clay remained unprofitable. His damascene conversion to rewilding began after meeting the visionary Dutch ecologist Frans Vera. All 3,500 acres (1,416 hectares) of the Knepp Estate are now devoted to a process-led rewilding project involving free-roaming herds of cattle, horses, pigs and deer as the drivers of habitat creation. Since its inception in 2001 numerous Red Data species have returned to Knepp and populations of common species are rocketing. Knepp Wildland is now a breeding hotspot for turtle doves and purple emperor butterflies, and has one of the largest breeding populations of nightingales in the UK. Charles is the Chair of Rewilding Britain.

Stuart Butchart is Chief Scientist at BirdLife International where he leads a team who help to provide the scientific basis for the conservation programmes of the 120 Partners that form the BirdLife International Partnership. This includes assessing extinction risk for the world’s birds for the IUCN Red List, coordinating the standards and protocols for identifying and monitoring Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) globally, identifying key threats to birds and their habitats, determining the priority actions required (for species, sites, habitats and along flyways), understanding how people depend upon the ecosystem services delivered by IBAs, developing biodiversity indicators based on bird data, and ensuring that sound science underpins BirdLife’s policy, advocacy and communications activities.

Jade CuttleJade Cuttle is a BBC Introducing poetic-folk musician whose songs are stirred by the humble-hearted wisdom, strength and resilience of trees. She has been commissioned by BBC Proms, fusing music with poetry as is her passion, followed by live performances across the BBC network. Her tree-inspired work includes debut EP ‘I Am Like The Tree’ and ‘The Art of Splinters’ as broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She is a student at University of Cambridge, currently working closely with BBC Four Arts.

Michelle CooperMichelle Cooper completed her BSc in Animal Biology from the University of Melbourne in 2003. She has since worked in zoos and aquaria focusing on education, husbandry, community engagement, research, fundraising and science communication. With a soft spot for the plight of lesser known cryptic species, Michelle arrived in Cambridge last year to undertake the MPhil in Conservation Leadership and develop her knowledge and networks to support conservation initiatives. As a science communicator, Michelle volunteered her services to help manage the Planet Earth component of this year’s Pint of Science Festival in Cambridge and worked with fellow Darwin College students to organise the One World Challenge – a global behaviour change challenge for university students at last year’s COP21 which resulted in 559 students from 24 countries recording over 70,000 positive actions for the planet.

Joanna ElliottJoanna Elliott has an Economics degree from Cambridge University and an MBA from the London Business School. She spent her early career in banking and management consultancy before deciding to apply those skills to the conservation sector, in which she has worked for the past twenty years. She has lived for extensive periods in Indonesia and Kenya, where she worked on long-term assignments for donors, NGOs and protected area authorities before joining the African Wildlife Foundation as Vice President for Program Design and then DFID as Biodiversity & Rural Livelihoods Advisor. Her recent work has focused on biodiversity-poverty linkages, impact assessment, large scale project design, protected area systems and conservation-business partnerships. Joanna joined Fauna & Flora International in early 2013 as Senior Director, Conservation Partnerships. She is also a visiting Fellow in Biodiversity and Society at the International Institute for Environment and Development and currently serves on DEFRA’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Advisory Group.

John FanshaweJohn Fanshawe is an author and environmentalist based in north Cornwall. Over the last three decades, he has worked on bird and biodiversity conservation in the UK, Kenya and Tanzania; primarily for the charity BirdLife. With Terry Stevenson, he is co-author of a field guide, Birds of East Africa (2001), and with Nigel Redman and Terry Stevenson of Birds of the Horn of Africa (2009). With Mark Cocker, he edited and published the complete works of the author J. A. Baker, including The Peregrine, in 2010. Working as a senior strategy adviser for BirdLife, and as an arts, science and conservation adviser for the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), he has a particular interest in the role of arts practice in conservation, is a member of the research cluster RANE, and has an MA in Art and Environment from University College Falmouth.

William FiennesWilliam Fiennes is the bestselling author of The Snow Geese and The Music Room. The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year in 2003, he has contributed reviews, essays and stories to many publications, including the London Review of Books, Granta, the Observer and the Times Literary Supplement. The Snow Geese, published to wide acclaim in 2002, was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, and won the Hawthornden Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award. William is co-founder of the charity First Story, which supports creativity and literacy in challenging secondary schools. He is an Honorary Vice-President of Epilepsy Action and an Ambassador for The Woodland Trust. He teaches at Newcastle University and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009.

Kathleen Jamie was born in the west of Scotland in 1962. Her poetry collections to date include The Overhaul, which won the 2012 Costa Poetry Prize, and The Tree House, which won both the Forward Prize and the Scottish Book of the Year Award. For the last decade Kathleen Jamie has also written non-fiction concerning land, nature and culture: she is author of the highly regarded Findings and Sightlines. Her most recent collection The Bonniest Companie appeared in 2015. Kathleen is Chair of Poetry at Stirling University (part-time). She lives in Fife.

Kate Jones is a leading British biodiversity scientist. Her particular interest is in understanding past and present patterns of global biodiversity to predict future impact of global change on our planet. Kate’s research spans dinosaur macroecology, ant biodiversity, predicting where the next emerging infectious disease will strike to bats. Kate will review some of the latest advances in sensors used to monitor wildlife and machine learning approaches to analyse the big biodiversity data gathered. She argues that although technological advances have undoubtedly contributed to the over-exploitation of natural resources and decline of wild nature, technology can also help us to better understand the natural world and to further engage people with their environment.

Jamie LorimerJamie Lorimer is an Associate Professor in the School of Geography and Environment at the University of Oxford. His research explores the geographies and politics of wildlife conservation. Recent work has focused on the emergence of rewilding as a new way of doing conservation, tracing the history of the concept and disputes over its different meanings. Jamie is especially interested in conservation in unorthodox settings and through different forms of public participation. His recent book, Wildlife in the Anthropocene: Conservation after Nature, gathers together ideas developed over the last decade to examine the implications of the Anthropocene for the natures and politics of conservation. Jamie has recently been expanding his research to explore emerging interests in rewilding the human microbiome.

George MonbiotGeorge Monbiot writes a weekly column for The Guardian, and is the author of a number of books, including Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning, Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life, and How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature. He is the founder of The Land is Ours, a peaceful campaign for the right of access to the countryside and its resources in the United Kingdom. He was presented with a United Nations Global 500 Award for outstanding environmental achievement by Nelson Mandela.

Stuart Newson is a Senior Research Ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), where he is mainly involved in survey design and analyses of data from large national ‘Citizen Science’ surveys. Whilst the core of his work has been on birds, he has a personal interest in bats and acoustic monitoring, and in particular how technology can deliver new opportunities for conservation, and provide new ways to engage with larger audiences. Stuart set up the Norfolk Bat Survey in 2013, a novel citizen science approach for enabling unprecedented large-scale bat recording using static acoustic detectors, an approach which has since been extended to a much larger area of southern Scotland, with plans now to develop this idea more widely.

Katharine Norbury trained as a film editor with the BBC and has worked extensively in film and television drama. The Fish Ladder – which combines travelogue, memoir and landscapism – is her first book. She was chosen as The Observer’s Rising Star in non-fiction for 2015 and The Fish Ladder was a book of the year in The Guardian, The Independent and the Telegraph as well as being longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, 2015. It has been longlisted for the Wainwright Prize, 2016, for nature and UK travel writing, and nominated as one of National Reading Group Day 2016’s real life reads. She lives in London with her family.

Stephanie O’Donnell is the Community Manager of WILDLABS.NET, launched by United for Wildlife, with support from Google.org and ARM, to close the information-sharing gap in the fight against illegal wildlife trade and other pressing issues facing our planet. She guides the community’s development so that it contributes tangible value to the UfW objective of democratising access to the right information, tools and resources, and fulfils the WILDLABS.NET aims of connecting conservationists, technologists, engineers, data scientists and entrepreneurs and supporting them to find, share and create effective technology-based solutions to protect threatened wildlife and habitats.

Ruth PadelRuth Padel’s collections include Darwin – A Life in Poems and The Mara Crossing, a meditation on migration. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Trustee of the Zoological Society of London. Awards include First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and a British Council Darwin Now research award. She teaches poetry at King’s College London.
www.ruthpadel.com

Laurie Parma holds a BS in Biology and a Masters in Neuroscience from the University of Bordeaux. Her interests lie in modern studies of human happiness, and she is currently leading one of the largest studies undertaken into the psychological and physical well-being effects of yoga. A second project, co-led with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, investigates the relationships between well-being and biodiversity. The project team has developed a new smartphone app to capture the relationship between human wellbeing and the environment they are in moment by moment.

Edward Parnell lives in Norfolk and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He is the recipient of an Escalator Award from Writers’ Centre Norwich, and in 2009 received a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Edward has previously worked for BirdLife International and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and has written numerous natural history and conservation-related articles for magazines and newspapers; he has also worked extensively in television and media production. Currently, he is a freelance editor and copywriter, and is also one of the Co-Directors of the Wymondham Words literature festival. His first novel, The Listeners, was the winner of the 2014 Rethink New Novels Prize. He is currently working on his second novel.

Bruce PearsonBruce Pearson is a painter and printmaker. Over the past 40 years he has worked on a range of subjects and themes about species in wild landscapes, sometimes in more remote places where people and their activity interact with wildlife and habitats. He is fascinated by the rhythm and restlessness of the natural world and often completes a painting directly in the field, while volumes of sketches and studies provide ideas and fresh starting points for painting and printmaking work in the studio. His work has been widely exhibited in the UK and overseas in many group and solo exhibitions. His recent Troubled Waters project, in collaboration with BirdLife International, followed the lives and fortunes of the countless seabirds that collide with industrial fishing interests on the open ocean.

Katrina PorteousKatrina Porteous is a poet, historian and broadcaster, much of whose work involves a detailed and loving celebration of the people, landscapes and wildlife of the Northumbrian coast where she lives. She has written extensively about local inshore fishing traditions, and often works in collaboration with artists and musicians, including painter James Dodds (Longshore Drift) and piper Chris Ormston (The Wund an’ the Wetter). Her long poems for BBC radio with producer Julian May include Dunstanburgh, The Refuge Box, and – with electronic composer Peter Zinovieff – Horse and Edge. Her most recent poetry collection is Two Countries (Bloodaxe, 2014).
www.katrinaporteous.co.uk

Mike Rands is Executive Director of the CCI. After an early career as a research ecologist studying farmland wildlife populations in the UK, he developed and directed a programme of multidisciplinary conservation projects in over 100 countries for an international conservation organisation (ICBP). In 1996 Mike was appointed Chief Executive of the global conservation partnership, BirdLife International, before joining CCI as its first Director in 2009.

Martin Rees is a cosmologist and space scientist. He is based in Cambridge, where he has been Director of the Institute of Astronomy, a Research Professor, and, until recently, Master of Trinity College. He was President of the Royal Society during 2005–2010, and in 2005 was appointed to the House of Lords. He lectures, writes and broadcasts widely for general audiences. His books include Before the Beginning, Our Final Century?, Just Six Numbers, Our Cosmic Habitat, Gravity’s Fatal Attraction, and From Here to Infinity: Scientific Horizons, an expanded version of his BBC Reith Lectures. Ever since Our Final Century? was published, he has been concerned with the threats stemming from humanity’s ever-heavier ‘footprint’ on the global environment, and with the runaway consequences of ever more powerful technologies. These concerns led him to join with colleagues in setting up a Centre for the Study of Existential Risks (CSER). This is based in Cambridge and has a strong international advisory board.

Ivan Scales is the Harvey McGrath Lecturer in Geography at St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge. His research looks at the role of political, cultural and economic factors in shaping natural resource use (with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa). Current research projects investigate the diversity of environmental values; agriculture and food security; tropical deforestation; and community-based conservation. He has carried out fieldwork in Cameroon, French Guiana, The Gambia, Madagascar and Senegal, and recently edited a book on Conservation and Environmental Management in Madagascar (Routledge, 2014). A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a member of the Centre for African Studies, and a member of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute, he received his first degree in Ecology, followed by a Masters in Anthropology and a PhD in Geography.

Toby Smith is based in Cambridge and works internationally on projects concerning landscape, environment, industry and science. He graduated with a Masters in Contemporary Photography from London College of Communication in 2008 and is the Artist in Residence of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Insititute for 2015/16. His work is exhibited internationally and editorial clients include National Geographic, The Sunday Times Magazine, TIME, Fortune, The New York Times and The Guardian. Broadcast credits include the BBC Natural History Unit, Al Jazeera, Sky News, BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. Notable projects include studies of hydroelectricity and landscape in Scotland, renewable energy technology across China and India, and illegal logging and mining in Madagascar.

Mike TomsMike Toms is an Associate Director at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), responsible for science communication. Much of his work is geared towards public engagement in ‘Citizen Science’, delivering quality research through networks of keen amateurs. He has been with the BTO since 1994 and has also worked on owls, bird migration, monitoring methods and mammals (amongst others) during his time with the organisation. Mike sees a real need for scientists to communicate the results of their work in ways that engage more effectively with a wider audience. With an artistic background, he also seeks to promote experiences of the natural world, adding context to the rather dry and often formal outputs of the scientific community. Mike is a regular contributor to BBC Wildlife magazine, a columnist for the Eastern Daily Press and author of several books, including the Collins New Naturalist volume on owls.
Blog: www.in-the-countryside.blogspot.com   Twitter feed: @miketoms

Hanna Tuulikki is an Edinburgh-based artist, composer and performer, working primarily with voice and gesture, to create site-specific performances that unearth an essential relationship with the lore of places. Photography, film, drawing, text, and visual-scores extend the work. Her largest project to date, Air falbh leis na h-eòin | Away with the Birds (2010–2015) investigates the mimesis of birds in Scottish Gaelic song – the vocal composition was performed in the harbour on the Isle of Canna as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, and launched as a digital work with the SPACE in 2015. Other recent works include Women of the Hill (2015) commissioned by ATLAS arts on the Isle of Skye, and SING SIGN: a close duet (2015) commissioned by Edinburgh Art Festival.

2015 / Nature Matters: Place and Belonging

John AitchisonJohn Aitchison has been filming wildlife for twenty years. He first worked for the RSPB Film Unit, then filmed and produced a number of programmes with his wife Mary-Lou for the BBC’s Natural World series. These included The Amber Time Machine, presented by Sir David Attenborough. John has filmed for many other series, including Hebrides – Islands on the Edge, which was awarded the Best Series panda at Wildscreen 2014. Yellowstone – Winter and Frozen Planet both won team BAFTAs for Cinematography. The Frozen Planet photography team also won an Emmy. John sometimes presents programmes on Radio 4, most recently about the demise of the passenger pigeon. His book, The Shark and the Albatross, will be published in September 2015.

Carry AkroydCarry Akroyd is a painter and printmaker whose subject is the landscape, with a particular interest in history and wildlife. A member of the Society of Wildlife Artists, she is the jacket artist for British Wildlife Publishing’s The British Wildlife Collection series of books, and illustrated Tweet of the Day, the book of the Radio 4 series. She has also illustrated three books of John Clare’s poetry, and continues to create a seam of work relating to the ‘Peasant Poet’ and his relevance to today. Carry curated and edited Wildlife in Printmaking, and has written a book about her own work and inspirations, natures powers & spells: Landscape Change, John Clare and me. She exhibits regularly in a few small galleries.
www.carryakroyd.co.uk

Simon BarnesSimon Barnes writes about wildlife and sport. He has written more than 20 books, including three novels and the best-selling Bad Birdwatcher trilogy. His latest is Ten Million Aliens: A Journey Through the Entire Animal Kingdom, an ambitious project that nearly finished him off. Against all the odds he revived enough to carry on writing. He was chief sportswriter of The Times for 12 years, and wrote two weekly nature columns for that newspaper, before embracing wider horizons and a jolly portfolio of newspapers and magazines. He lives on a bit of Norfolk marsh with his family and a few horses. He also chucks out stuff at simonbarnesauthor.co.uk.

BarronbradyBarronbrady (Ros Brady and Si Barron) are acclaimed for their fresh acoustic style and repertoire rooted in the English folk tradition. Written in and responding to wild landscape and nature poetry, Ros Brady’s songs explore the natural world. Ros also writes from interviews with those working to save natural systems. ‘Beautiful Music’ – Bob Harris. ‘Good songs well sung … the music is very much their own’ – Mike Harding

Tim BirkheadTim Birkhead is a professor of behaviour and evolution at the University of Sheffield. His research on promiscuity and sperm competition in birds helped to re-shape current understanding of bird mating systems. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004. As well as a passion for research, Tim is committed to undergraduate teaching and the public understanding of science. His talks (like The Early Birdwatchers) and popular science books have gained widespread recognition: The Wisdom of Birds (2008) won ‘bird book of the year award’ and Bird Sense (2012) was short-listed for the Royal Society Winton Prize. His most recent book is Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin (2014).

Mary ColwellMary Colwell is a producer of TV, radio and internet programmes, specialising in the areas of natural history and religion. She has made major Radio 4 series such as Saving Species, Shared Planet and The History of Natural History. For TV she produced British Isles – A Natural History, Bill Oddie Goes Wild, Wildlife On One and Natural World. In 2009 she won a Radio Academy Sony Gold for a podcast about a prisoner caring for a budgerigar. She is a feature writer for the Catholic think-tank journal The Tablet and has advised the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on environmental issues. Her first book, John Muir – The Man Who Saved America’s Wild Places, was published in 2014. At present she is working on her second book on kindness and nature and producing a series for Radio 4 on animal sentience.

Andrew ForsterAndrew Forster has published two collections of poetry with Flambard Press: Fear of Thunder, shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2008, and Territory. His poems are featured on the AQA GCSE syllabus and he reads as part of the annual ‘Poetry Live’ series. He won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2014. His latest collection, Homecoming, is published by Smith Doorstop. His work explores what it means to make a home in a particular place. Territory focuses on Leadhills, a tiny village in South West Scotland, and Homecoming explores his settling in Cumbria after 20 years in Scotland. He is Literature Officer for the Wordsworth Trust.

Richard ForteyRichard Fortey is a palaeontologist who worked for much of his career at the Natural History Museum of London. He has presented television series on such topics as fossils, rock-pools and fungi and is the author of many very successful popular science books, including Life: an Unauthorised Biography, Earth: an Intimate History, Dry Store Room no. 1 and Survivors.

Louise GrayLouise Gray is former Environment Correspondent on The Daily Telegraph. Since 2014 she has been freelance, writing for the BBC, Scottish Field, Sunday Times and the Guardian, among others. She specialises in writing about the countryside, climate change and rhododendrons. She is currently writing a book for Bloomsbury about a year spent only eating animals she has killed herself, out in August 2016. The provisionally titled The Ethical Carnivore explores our relationship with the animals we eat, and how we might reconnect with the natural world through food.
Twitter feed: @loubgray

Malcolm GreenMalcolm Green is a storyteller and environmental educator. After working as a headmaster in rural Cameroon, Malcolm managed the Rising Sun Country Park (a 400-acre reclaimed coal mine) in Newcastle upon Tyne where he developed the use of storytelling in environmental education. A professional storyteller since 1982, Malcolm performs widely and teaches courses on the role of storytelling in heritage and countryside interpretation at Newcastle University and elsewhere. His most recent project Dreaming the Land involved working with archaeologists to story ancient sites in Northumberland. His storytelling performances include Where Curlews Call (with Nick Hennessey) and Shearwater (with Tim Dalling). He has recently published Northumberland Folk Tales.

germaine_greerGermaine Greer is best known as an academic, author, controversialist and broadcaster, who first came into worldwide prominence with the publication of The Female Eunuch in 1970. She is also an active conservationist. She has been President of Buglife for the last ten years and has recently published the much-acclaimed The White Beech, about which she herself says: “For years I had wandered Australia with an aching heart. Everywhere I had ever travelled across the vast expanse of the fabulous country where I was born I had seen devastation, denuded hills, eroded slopes, weeds from all over the world, feral animals, open-cut mines as big as cities, salt rivers, salt earth, abandoned townships, whole beaches made of beer cans.”

Matt HowardMatt Howard works for the RSPB as Community Fundraiser in Eastern England. He has worked for the RSPB since 2010, having fled the insurance industry after thirteen years’ service. Through his work with the RSPB, Matt has established The RSPB and The Rialto Nature Poetry Competition in partnership with leading independent UK poetry magazine, The Rialto. His own poems have appeared widely in leading magazines since 2008 and his debut pamphlet with Eyewear Publishing will be published in late 2014 / early 2015.

Rebecca JewellRebecca Jewell is represented by the Rebecca Hossack Gallery and she is Artist in Residence in the Oceania Department of the British Museum. She is also Visiting Artist in Residence at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Jewell gained a PhD in Natural History Illustration from the Royal College of Art (2004) and she has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. Her work is held in public collections including the Natural History Museum, the British Museum, the British Library, the National Trust (Chastleton House) and the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Jewell is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a Brother of the Art Workers Guild. She lives in London and has a studio at the Chocolate Factory.

Jo JoelsonJo Joelson co-founded London Fieldworks with Bruce Gilchrist in 2000 to represent their art partnership. They work across installation, sculpture, architecture, film and publishing with works made in the landscape, for galleries, screen and radio. An urban-rural practice has been central to projects, with many involving a complex inter-working of social, natural, and technological worlds. Concerned with ecology and the environment they generate material from experience of place; exploring the authenticity of mediated experience, history, and culture. They have visited and made work in remote and rural parts of the world and in urban green spaces in the UK, using fieldwork methodologies to explore and reflect on human engagement with nature. Their works often attend to place and to habitat, investigating the meeting points of culture and nature through constructed interventions and installations.
www.londonfieldworks.com

Tony JuniperTony Juniper is an independent sustainability and environment adviser, including as Special Advisor with The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit and as a Fellow with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He is a founder member of Robertsbridge, an advisory group working with international companies on strategies for more sustainable business. He speaks and writes on many aspects of sustainability and is the author of several books, including the bestselling What Has Nature Ever Done for Us?, the award-winning Parrots of the World and How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change A Planet?. He was a co-author of the award-winning Harmony, with HRH The Prince of Wales and Ian Skelly. He began his career as an ornithologist, working with Birdlife International, and was executive director of Friends of the Earth from 2003–8 and Vice Chair of Friends of the Earth International from 2000–8.
www.tonyjuniper.com   Twitter feed: @tonyjuniper

Elspeth KennyElspeth Kenny is a second year PhD student at the University of Sheffield studying the social behaviour of common guillemots. She spends several months each year living on Skomer Island, Wales, recording guillemot social interactions and enjoying island life. During her biology degree at the University of Sheffield and McGill University, Canada, she discovered that she loved talking to the public about biology. She was a UK runner up in the international science communication competition ‘FameLab’, where she wore blue flippers to explain the strange behaviour of the Blue-footed Booby. She also helped to design a human-sized robotic plant to explain photosynthesis, and her highlight of last year was co-organising an interactive lecture on animal intelligence for 1000 local school children, which involved a lot of papier-mâché.

Peter MarrenPeter Marren is a writer and sometime journalist on natural history matters. His books include Bugs Britannica (a journey through the folklore of invertebrates), The New Naturalists and Britain’s Rare Flowers. His other topics include the history of butterfly collecting, the fortunes and conservation of wild flowers, field mycology generally, the names of species and a long-running commentary about conservation and conservationists in his ‘Twitcher in the Swamp’ column in British Wildlife. He also writes obituaries and book reviews.

Michael McCarthyMichael McCarthy was the environment editor of The Independent newspaper from 1998 to 2013 and won a number of prestigious awards for his commitment to and coverage of the environment, including the RSPB medal, the Dilys Breeze medal of the BTO and the silver medal of the Zoological Society of London. He now writes a weekly column on the natural world for The Independent entitled Nature Studies. His 2009 book Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo, a study of Britain’s summer migrant birds and their decline, was widely praised; his new book, The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy will be published by John Murray in the spring of 2015.

George MonbiotGeorge Monbiot divides his time between writing for the Guardian and pursuing a number of quixotic projects: generally writing obscure books and campaigning for lost causes. His latest book is Feral: searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding.

Stephen MossStephen Moss is a naturalist, television producer, writer and broadcaster specialising in British wildlife. In a 30 year career at the BBC, much of it based at the Natural History Unit in Bristol, he has been responsible for many successful series, including Birding with Bill Oddie, Big Cat Diary, The Nature of Britain, Springwatch, Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival and Birds Britannia, on the unique relationship between the British and our birds. He writes a monthly column on birdwatching for The Guardian, and regularly contributes to other newspapers and magazines. His books include A Bird in the Bush: A Social History of Birdwatching, This Birding Life, A Sky Full of Starlings, The Bumper Book of Nature and a natural history of his country parish, Wild Hares and Hummingbirds. He is married with five children, and lives on the Somerset Levels.
www.stephenmoss.tv

Hannah MumbyHannah Mumby is an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Sheffield, and the recipient of a Drapers’ Company Junior Research Fellowship at Pembroke College, Cambridge and a Branco Weiss Society in Science Fellowship. She has travelled across Africa and Asia studying pubertal children, monkeys and most recently, Asian elephants. Her aim is to find out how living for a long time, being very social and having relatively few offspring makes evolutionary sense for these animals. And beyond that, whether we can challenge our perception of human uniqueness by testing whether humans really stand out from other long-lived species. Hannah has a passion for public communication of science and has given school talks, interviews and public seminars in everywhere from a hotel in northern Thailand to a student radio station in Bangalore, India. You can also spot her getting excited about weighing elephants in the documentary “Of Oozies and Elephants” and follow her research on Twitter @Myanmarelephant.

Jeremy MynottJeremy Mynott spent most of his professional career in publishing at Cambridge University Press, working successively as editor, editorial director, managing director and chief executive. He is an Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. Jeremy has had a life-long interest in the natural world, in particular birds. He has explored the variety of human responses to birds in Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience (2009), a book described by reviewers as ‘the finest book ever written about why we watch birds’ (Guardian), ‘a ground-breaking work’ (British Birds) and ‘wonderful rumination on birds and birders through space and time for anyone interested in our relationship with nature’ (THES). His current project is a book about Birds in the Ancient World. He has broadcast on radio and television, is a regular reviewer in the TLS and a founder member of New Networks for Nature.
www.jeremymynott.org

Matthew OatesMatthew Oates has worked for the National Trust in various incarnations for 26 years, originally by providing practical habitat management advice but recently by developing the Trust’s wildlife and nature media work and by helping the Trust’s efforts to facilitate people’s relationships with Nature. A deep lover of butterflies, with some incipient knowledge, he is also interested in some other invertebrate groups, though unable to take specimens / kill anything. Formerly, he helped to develop nature conservation grazing. A poet, author, broadcaster and follower of the poetic approach to Nature, his life’s work concerns unravelling the mysteries of the Purple Emperor and reinstating the capital N in Nature.

Ruth PadelRuth Padel’s collections include Darwin – A Life in Poems and The Mara Crossing, a meditation on migration. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Trustee of the Zoological Society of London. Awards include First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and a British Council Darwin Now research award. She teaches poetry at King’s College London.
www.ruthpadel.com

Pascale PetitPascale Petit is a poet who has published six collections, four of which were shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. She was born in Paris and lives in London. Her sixth book Fauverie was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and won the Manchester Poetry Prize. The Fauverie of this book is the big-cat house in the Jardin des Plantes zoo in Paris; a city haunted by Aramis the black jaguar and a menagerie of wild animals. Fauverie endeavours to redeem the darker forces of human nature while celebrating the ferocity and grace of endangered species. Pascale is widely travelled, including in the Venezuelan Amazon, China, Mexico and Nepal. Her fifth book What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo was shortlisted for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and Wales Book of the Year. Three of her books have been Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement, Observer and Independent. She originally trained as a sculptor and tutors for Tate Modern and The Poetry School.

Katrina PorteousKatrina Porteous is a poet, historian and broadcaster, much of whose work involves a detailed and loving celebration of the people, landscapes and wildlife of the Northumbrian coast where she lives. She has written extensively about local inshore fishing traditions, and often works in collaboration with artists and musicians, including painter James Dodds (Longshore Drift) and piper Chris Ormston (The Wund an’ the Wetter). Her long poems for BBC radio with producer Julian May include Dunstanburgh, The Refuge Box, and – with electronic composer Peter Zinovieff – Horse and Edge. Her most recent poetry collection is Two Countries (Bloodaxe, 2014).
www.katrinaporteous.co.uk

Geoff SampleGeoff Sample was brought up in Northumberland and the Scottish Highlands, where his early ambition was to be a naturalist and live like Gavin Maxwell. After being sidetracked into an education in Classics and a sojourn as guitarist and music producer, he wove the threads together to study and record the ancient culture of birdsong and its context in natural soundscapes. He began by publishing his own CDs through Wildsong and has subsequently produced sound guides for HarperCollins, including the best-selling Collins Bird Songs and Calls. He regularly collaborates with contemporary artists, particularly Marcus Coates and Hanna Tuulikki, and produces installations and radio pieces in his own right exploring sound in the open landscape. His recordings find their way into all sorts of unlikely places on music albums, radio, TV and film. But he can still occasionally be heard warbling and fiddling with six-stringed boxes in various venues in Northumberland.
www.geoffsample.com

Jo ShapcottJo Shapcott was born in London. Poems from her three award-winning collections, Electroplating the Baby (1988), Phrase Book (1992) and My Life Asleep (1998) are gathered in a selected poems, Her Book (2000). She has won a number of literary prizes including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Collection, the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the National Poetry Competition (twice). Tender Taxes, her versions of Rilke, was published in 2001. Her most recent collection, Of Mutability, was published in 2010 and won the Costa Book Award. In 2011 Jo Shapcott was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

Matt ShardlowMatt Shardlow is Chief Executive of Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust. Buglife is the only organisation in Europe committed to saving all invertebrates; the charity has twenty four members of staff and a growing portfolio of conservation projects. The charity’s priorities include the sustainable management of brownfield sites; saving endangered Biodiversity Action Plan Priority species; putting bees and flowers back into the countryside; saving key sites for bugs from destruction, and improving the health of freshwater ecosystems. Matt is chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link (WCL) Legal Strategy Group and is a Country Diary columnist in the Guardian. Before leaving to set up Buglife in 2002 he was at the RSPB overseeing the management and monitoring of non-avian biodiversity on the RSPB’s nature reserves.

Helen SmithHelen Smith completed her PhD in plant ecology at UEA and undertook post-doctoral research in conservation management at Oxford University. Her career took an unexpected turn in 1991 when she moved to live on the edge of Redgrave & Lopham Fen and met her new neighbours – the large, lovely and all-too-exclusive raft spiders. It was love at first sight and she has led the conservation programme for the species ever since. This has successfully established new populations in Broadland and turned her kitchen into a rearing facility for thousands of spiderlings. Currently president of the British Arachnological Society, she now takes all 660+ species of UK spiders under her wing. Her local valley fens have inspired her other passion, the Little Ouse Headwaters Project; this grass-roots movement has restored and reunited many of the area’s fragmented valley fens.

Esther TysonEsther Tyson is an English painter inspired by the natural world. She has been working as a painter since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2003. Esther has been involved in numerous projects worldwide, the most recent of which was in Senegal, West Africa, where she was invited by the BTO to portray the people, landscape and birds on migration. Back on her local patch she finds much inspiration throughout the South Derbyshire countryside and, closer to home, a never ending stream of birds visit the feeder hanging outside her window. She says: ‘Watching Goldfinch on the feeder outside my window I note the colour, pattern, shape, their movement and behaviour. These observations inform the marks I make, every subject commanding an individual response.’

Barbara YoungBaroness Barbara Young has been involved with many wildlife and conservation organizations. She has served as Chief Executive of the RSPB and of the Environment Agency, Chair of English Nature and President of the BTO. She is a member of the House of Lords and a Life Peer.

2014 / Nature Matters: A Sense of Scale

John BarlowJohn Barlow is a poet, editor, publisher and designer. A contributor to Caught By The River and Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku, his haiku and other short poems have received more than 100 awards, while works he has edited have been honoured by the Haiku Society of America and the Poetry Society of America. He has given talks and readings at a diverse range of conferences, venues and events, including Haiku North America, Oxford University, Birdfair, and Festival No. 6. His books include The New Haiku (with Martin Lucas, 2002), Waiting for the Seventh Wave (2006) and Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku (with Matthew Paul, 2008).

Oliver BurkeOliver Burke is Director of Living Landscapes at the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. He studied Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool and went on to do research on coral ecology with the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Oliver has worked in the conservation, sustainability and environmental education sectors for over seventeen years within charities and public bodies. He now oversees the conservation, education and community work of the Wildlife Trust BCN and is responsible for the management of over 120 nature reserves and nine Living Landscape Projects including the Great Fen.

Andrew CleaveAndrew Cleave took early retirement from his job teaching and running an Environmental Education Centre a few years ago, and is now able to concentrate on writing, photography, lecturing and tour leading. His published works, numbering over 30 titles so far, cover a range of natural history and environmental subjects, and include field guides to trees, wild flowers, seashore life and birds, biology revision guides and numerous articles in magazines and journals. Andrew is a frequent lecturer to National Trust and RSPB groups, and has also run courses on dormouse conservation and ecology. He is a committee member of the Lundy Field Society and is presently involved with a survey of the island’s flora. He has travelled extensively, especially in Europe, and led tours for Naturetrek in various parts of the Mediterranean region and Galapagos. Andrew was appointed MBE in 1995 for services to Environmental Education.

Andy ClementsAndy Clements is a naturalist and ornithologist, and has a science background. Since 2007 he has been the Chief Executive Officer of the British Trust for Ornithology and he is also the President of the Norfolk & Norwich Naturalists’ Society, a trustee of National Biodiversity Network and a member of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative Steering Group. Andy has previously worked for the Government’s nature conservation agencies, where he held various senior positions from 1982 until 2006 and helped to establish Natural England.

Liz CowdreyLiz Cowdrey is an Oxfordshire-reared Manchester-degreed violinist, greatly inspired by folk and gypsy musicians in Eastern Europe. She embraces birds’ sound and energetic expressions to enhance developmental creativity through performance, transcription, improvisation and composition. With such scope for behavioural patterns of avian activity (movement and sound) to reveal ‘insightly’ nuances and quirks with corrective healing potential, she endeavours to translate inspirational observations into notes and inflections – literally or creatively. Liz led a violinist’s workshop on style and interpretation in classical music during The Conference of Birds’ residency in Brazil, and has since taken part in birdsong-inspired concerts and tours in Italy, Scotland, England and Spain. The Goldfinch Foundation’s Planet Birdsong-bound activities promise to propel any lifelong love of the natural world, through sound and landscape immersion, across exciting new frontiers.

Peter CowdreyPeter Cowdrey began composing as a small boy, at which time he loved listening to the dawn chorus but was deeply frustrated at its inaccessibility – too fast, too high – and resolutely resistant to being shoehorned into what his upbringing defined as music. After spending a substantial part of his childhood turning himself into an ornithologist, Peter is delighted that recent technology has come to his rescue, making it possible to crack the hidden codes of birdsong. He is on a mission to share them with the rest of the world, especially children. More information about Peter can be found at Opera Unlimited and The Conference of Birds, and in this article by Mark Cocker in the Guardian. His compositions can be heard on his Soundcloud page.

Tim DeeTim Dee is a writer and radio producer. His memoir of his amateur birdwatching life The Running Sky was published in 2009. His second book Four Fields about, yes, four fields and other versions of pastoral, appeared in 2013 and is just out in paperback. With Simon Armitage he co-edited The Poetry of Birds (2009). A long time ago, he also wrote The Endemic Birds of Madagascar, a worthy but dull production, for the ICBP (now BirdLife International). He is at work on two books, one about the Spring in Europe and another about men who watch gulls, this last will be called Landfill. He has been a BBC radio producer for twenty five years and makes mostly radio dramas and poetry programmes. He is married to the behavioural ecologist Claire Spottiswoode, and they live mostly in the Cambridgeshire fens, sometimes in Bristol and, when they can, in Scarborough on the Cape Peninsula in South Africa.

Paul EvansPaul Evans is a nature writer, radio broadcaster and lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University. He is a contributor of Country Diaries for the Guardian and Guardian Weekly and a writer and presenter of natural history documentaries, place-based features and docu-dramas on BBC Radio 4. Herbaceous, his collection of botanically-inspired poetic prose, was published in 2014. His background is in the UK nature conservation movement: the British Association of Nature Conservationists (BANC) – which he chaired from 1992–97 – and as conservation director for Plantlife. He also has considerable horticultural experience with the National Trust, as horticultural director of a botanical garden in New York and for David Austen Roses. He has been involved in performance poetry and music in the UK and New York. He holds an MA in Values and the Environment and a PhD in Philosophy from Lancaster University. He lives in Much Wenlock, Shropshire with his family.

Dave GoulsonDave Goulson was brought up in rural Shropshire, where he developed an early obsession with wildlife. He received his degree in biology from Oxford University, followed by a doctorate on butterfly ecology at Oxford Brookes University, before lecturing in biology for 11 years at the University of Southampton. He subsequently moved to Stirling University in 2006, and then to Sussex in 2013. He is the author of Bumblebees: Their Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation (Oxford University Press, 2010), and of the Sunday Times bestseller A Sting in the Tale, a popular science book about bumblebees, published in 2013 by Jonathan Cape. This was followed by A Buzz in the Meadow in 2014. Goulson founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006, a charity which has grown to 8,000 members. He was the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s Social Innovator of the Year in 2010, was given the Zoological Society of London’s Marsh Award for Conservation Biology in 2013, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2013.

Gemma HarperGemma Harper is Chief Social Scientist and Deputy Director for Animal and Plant Health Evidence and Analysis (Aphea) in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). She is responsible for ensuring social science – which aims to put people at the heart of policy making – is high quality and has impact on strategy, policy and delivery. Gemma is also responsible for ensuring interdisciplinary evidence helps protect and enhance the contributions animal and plant health make to society. Gemma studied social psychology at London School of Economics and Political Science, and conducted post-doctoral research in the Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, The University of Reading. She is a member of the Government Social Research Leadership Board, the Cross Government Evaluation Group, the Social Research Association Strategy Group, the Public Policy Committee of the British Academy, and is currently a Policy Fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Science and Policy.

Philip HoarePhilip Hoare is the author of seven works of non-fiction, including Leviathan Or, The Whale, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize for 2009. His latest book, The Sea Inside, is published by Fourth Estate, and is a personal journey through human and natural history from Southampton and the Isle of Wight, via the Azores and Sri Lanka, to Tasmania and New Zealand. He wrote and presented the BBC 2 film, The Hunt for Moby-Dick, and directed three short films for BBC 4, Philip Hoare’s Guide to Whales. Philip is professor of creative writing at the University of Southampton, and co-curator of the Moby-Dick Big Read, a free online version of Herman Melville’s book featuring Tilda Swinton, Stephen Fry, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Waters, Simon Callow, Fiona Shaw, Mary Oliver and Sir David Attenborough. He also volunteers for the Dolphin Whalewatch in Cape Cod, where friends accuse him of spending more time with whales than with human beings.
www.philiphoare.co.uk   Twitter feed: @philipwhale

Chris HudsonChris Hudson is the Planetarium Supervisor at the Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne, which introduces about 100,000 people a year to the wonders of space, producing many shows in-house for different audiences. His background is in commercial software development after study at Newcastle University some thirty years ago. He has a passion for both local history and scouting, and is currently working on and studying for an MSc in Science Communication.

Rosie JohnstonRosie Johnston has directed opera in the UK and abroad. She is a published journalist and author and a regular correspondent and critic for Opera Now. She hosted Opera, Life on the High Cs on KTAO New Mexico for four years. She is artistic director for Opera Unlimited and a founder and developer of Planet Birdsong. She leads birdsong-walking tours in Italy and Spain. Rosie’s journey into the world of birdsong started in 2011. Her passion is unlocking the hidden world of birdsong with children.

Richard KerridgeRichard Kerridge is a nature writer and ecocritic. Cold Blood: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians, published by Chatto & Windus in 2014, is a mixture of memoir and nature writing. Richard’s work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in BBC Wildlife, Poetry Review and Granta. He was awarded the 2012 Roger Deakin Prize by the Society of Authors, and has twice received the BBC Wildlife Award for Nature Writing. Richard leads the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and has also published numerous essays giving environmental readings of literature. He was co-editor of Writing the Environment, the first collection of ecocritical essays to be published in Britain, and a leading member of the team of creative writers and scientists led by SueEllen Campbell that wrote The Face of the Earth: Natural Landscapes, Science and Culture.

Celia LocksCelia Locks is a writer, journalist and editor who worked on the Guardian in news and features for 27 years, and edited the Country Diary for ten. She grew up around Epping Forest in north-east London and has a lifelong interest in and love of nature. Her passion is history and the English language, and she specialises in helping writers to develop their style and present their work in the best way possible. She is now writing a book about her father, who fought in the first world war in France and Mesopotamia.

Richard MabeyRichard Mabey is the author of some forty books including the bestelling plant bible, Flora Britannica, Weeds, Whistling in the Dark and the memoir Nature Cure, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread, Ondaatje and Ackerley Awards. His life of Gilbert White won the Whitbread Biography Award. He contributes regularly to radio and the national press, and has written a personal column in BBC Wildlife for nearly 30 years. He is a Visiting Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Patron of the John Clare Society. He lives in south Norfolk.

Helen MacdonaldHelen Macdonald is a writer, poet, artist, and historian of science. She’s worked as a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, as a professional falconer, and has helped manage raptor research and conservation projects across Eurasia. She is an affiliate of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, and her academic interests have been focused on the cultural history of animal-human interactions, particularly in the field sciences. Her books include Shaler’s Fish (Etruscan, 2001), Falcon (Reaktion Books, 2004), and most recently H is for Hawk (Jonathan Cape). She has also written two dramas for Radio 4, produced by Tim Dee. A keen birder and amateur naturalist, she lives near Newmarket, Suffolk.

Derek NiemannDerek Niemann has spent 28 years as a volunteer and professional communicator in nature conservation, making up for a lost childhood in which he was “an enthusiastic, untutored and inept naturalist”. In November 2014 he leaves the RSPB to become a freelance writer and editor, after spending 16 years as editor of the RSPB’s youth magazines. He has been a fortnightly Country Diarist for the Guardian since 2005 and is also a regular contributor to BBC Wildlife. He has written a number of wildlife books for children, as well as Birds in a Cage, the true story of POW birdwatchers. Derek lives in a county that its own council used to undersell spectacularly on road signs that proclaimed: “Welcome to Bedfordshire – central to the Oxford–Cambridge Arc”.
www.whispersfromthewild.co.uk

Debbie PainDebbie Pain is Director of Conservation at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. She began her career as an environmental chemist and then moved on to do a DPhil on lead poisoning in birds at Oxford University. She subsequently worked for four years in the Camargue, France, on ecotoxicology and behavioural ecology projects. She then joined the RSPB and was its first Head of International Research, investigating the causes of and solutions to the declines of some of the world’s most endangered birds, including Gyps vultures in Asia. Debbie has published numerous scientific papers on topics including protected area prioritisation, climate change, agricultural policy, ecotoxicology and species conservation. She has co-authored/edited three books, the most recent of which is Facing Extinction: The world’s rarest birds and the race to save them.

Matthew PaulMatthew Paul was shortlisted for the Pighog Press / Poetry School Pamphlet Competition 2013 and is the writer/editor, with John Barlow, of Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku. His first collection of haiku, The Regulars, was published by Snapshot Press in 2006 and his second, The Lammas Lands, is forthcoming from the same publisher. He posts a poem or haiku daily on his blog: http://matthewpaulpoems.blogspot.co.uk.

Jessica PenroseJessica Penrose is a poet and creative facilitator. She grew up in Scotland, and spent most of her adult life in Yorkshire where she fell in love with the wild, rolling landscape of the Dales. Since 2011 she has been learning to find beauty in the open spaces of Cambridgeshire. Jessica is currently working towards a poetry pamphlet inspired by her fascination with the landscape of the night skies, and with the life of the overlooked 18th century astronomer Caroline Herschel. She has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University and her poems have been published online and in journals including Ink, Sweat & Tears, Antiphon, The Rialto, Staple, and Mslexia. Jessica is co-director of Playful Being, which encourages adults to rediscover a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them.

Lyndall PhelpsLyndall Phelps is an artist whose curiosity in the world around us has shaped her artistic output. Describing herself as an enthusiastic amateur of many things, her art practice embraces extensive research and collaboration with a wide range of individuals whose interests reflect her own, from pigeon fanciers to radar scientists. Science, history and the natural world, particularly ornithology, botany and horticulture, are recurring themes. Her work combines a range of media including sculpture, photography, video, sound, textiles, ephemera, multiples and works on paper. The installations are often deliberately playful, sometimes magical and at times surreal. She aims to invite a sense of wonder; that people experiencing her work will be curious and intrigued. Lyndall firmly believes that artists can play a positive and productive role in raising awareness of the many complex issues surrounding nature conservation and species protection.
www.lyndallphelps.com

Katrina PorteousKatrina Porteous is a poet, historian and broadcaster, much of whose work involves a detailed and loving celebration of the people, landscapes and wildlife of the Northumbrian coast where she lives. She has written extensively about local inshore fishing traditions, and often works in collaboration with artists and musicians, including painter James Dodds (Longshore Drift) and piper Chris Ormston (The Wund an’ the Wetter). Her long poems for BBC radio with producer Julian May include Dunstanburgh, The Refuge Box, and – with electronic composer Peter Zinovieff – Horse and Edge. Her most recent poetry collection is Two Countries (Bloodaxe, 2014).
www.katrinaporteous.co.uk

Michelle RemblanceMichelle Remblance lives in, and enjoys exploring, Norfolk. Her love for nature is expressed in her writing, and she has recently completed a novel re-writing The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in an attempt to try and understand why anyone would shoot an albatross. After researching hundreds of possible explanations that have spanned more than two hundred years, she has reached her own unique conclusions about this famous literary example of bird cruelty, and she can now turn her attention to Cock Robin.
www.michelleremblance.com

Rosamond RichardsonRosamond Richardson is an author, journalist, essayist and walker who is at her happiest wandering about in wild places. Author of several books about things natural, including the international bestseller Country Wisdom, she writes for The Countryman and contributes regularly to Countryside NFU magazine. She has a special interest in our relationship with wild flowers and trees, their beauty and the roles they have played in our cultural and imaginative lives for centuries. Her current project Natural Histories of Wild Flowers and Trees tells their many fascinating and diverse stories. Rosamond writes the monthly column ‘Reflections’ for BirdWatching magazine. These pieces (with more) will be collected into a book (working title Waiting for the Albino Dunnock) based on encounters with the mystery and diversity of birds, their relationship to their habitats, the natural world around them, and to us.
www.rosamondrichardson.eu

Callum RobertsCallum Roberts is a professor of marine conservation at the University of York. His disparate research interests range from subjects such as the origins and maintenance of biodiversity on coral reefs, to historical ecology to the ecosystem effects of fishing. He has helped demonstrate that use of marine reserves, areas closed to fishing, can improve the success of fishery management and boost catches from surrounding areas by acting as a reservoir of productive fish stocks. Callum makes frequent contributions to radio and newspapers on the impacts of fishing on the sea and how to achieve sustainable fisheries. His book on this subject, The Unnatural History of the Sea, received the Rachel Carson Environment Book Prize. His most recent book Ocean of Life was shortlisted for the Royal Society book prize and examines the full scope of threats to the sea and what this means to our lives.

Lucy StevensLucy Stevens is a sound and visual artist inspired by bird behaviour; in particular bird vocalisation, identification and conservation. She records birdsong in order to identify birds and visualise their songs via printmaking techniques and graphic illustration. Her work has been exhibited locally, as well as France and Sweden as part of artist residencies and commissions. In 2014 she was funded by Arts Council England to collaborate with musicians to create a vinyl EP, record sleeve and lyric book inspired by birdsong. In 2013 she recorded birdsong in Sweden and interpreted the sounds through monoprint, to be exhibited at Nottingham Trent University. Her involvement in a citizen science project with Cornell Lab of Ornithology, to explore why pigeons exist in a variety of colour morphs, resulted in the creation of two digital illustrations – both receiving award nominations.
www.lucystevens.co.uk

William SutherlandWilliam Sutherland holds the Miriam Rothschild Chair in Conservation Biology at the University of Cambridge. He has research interests in ecology, conservation and policy-making, and has written or edited ten books and over 400 scientific papers. Having created the OUP series, Techniques in Ecology and Conservation, and the journals Conservation Letters and Conservation Evidence, he set up a gratis scheme to distribute conservation books to students in developing countries. He has been awarded Marsh Awards for Ecology, and for Conservation Biology, and the Scientific Medal of ZSL. He is President of the British Ecological Society, on the Science Strategy Committee of Natural England, and the Advisory Committee of Synchronicity Earth. He is particularly interested in developing links between science and practice including the process of routine horizon scanning, the use of evidence-based conservation such as through the website Conservation Evidence, and as an Associate Fellow of the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy.

Tom TewTom Tew is Chief Executive of the Environment Bank, a company trying to improve environmental accounting (and accountability) in the current UK planning system leading, hopefully, to a better understanding of the scale of current habitat loss and some major habitat creation projects in return. For his sins, Tom spent over 20 years in the public sector as a nature conservationist, leading teams and programmes at local, regional, national and international scales. His previous roles include Head of the UK CITES Scientific Authority at the JNCC, Area, Regional and National Director at English Nature and Chief Scientist at Natural England. He was a member of Sir John Lawton’s Making Space for Nature panel. As well as the Environment Bank, Tom is the Chairman of the Vincent Wildlife Trust – a mammal conservation charity focusing on horseshoe bats and pine martens, and is a Trustee and Board Member of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the HLF West Midlands Committee.

Juliet VickeryJuliet Vickery enjoyed research posts at Scottish Natural Heritage, the University of Edinburgh and the British Trust for Ornithology, following a PhD at Oxford and a Post doc at the University of East Anglia. She moved to her current position of Head of the International Research section in the Centre for Conservation Science at the RSPB in 2009. Working with, and building the capacity of, in-country BirdLife partners, the section is responsible for research that underpins the conservation of threatened sites, species and habitats throughout the world. Her own personal interests include the conservation of Afro-Palaearctic migrant birds, the impact of agriculture on biodiversity, and the impact of invasive non-native species on the island ecosystems of UK Overseas Territories. Juliet has authored/co-authored over 90 scientific publications and is one of the regular contributors to British Wildlife Magazine. She is chair of the Public and Policy Committee of the British Ecological Society and a member of the Government’s Darwin Expert Committee.

Martin WainwrightMartin Wainwright retired from the Guardian in 2013 after 37 years, the last 18 as Northern Editor. He has edited four collections of Guardian Country Diaries and writes a blog about moths. His enthusiasm for wildlife and the countryside was triggered in his native Leeds by the late John Armitage, curator of natural history at the city museum, nature columnist for the Daily Mirror, expert forger of stamps (for amusement not gain) and kindly patron of the young.

Michael WarrenMichael Warren is a teacher of English, currently completing his doctorate on birds and their environments in medieval poetry. His work casts new perspectives on the ornithological ‘Dark Ages’, demonstrating how our medieval forbears were equally enlightened about the natural world, with their own, complex environmental understandings. Michael has been a keen birder all his life and writes a journal about his experiences with birds in the field and in our rich heritage. He intends to publish his doctoral work and continue his academic research and writing about why birds matter in our early literature and our cultural lives more broadly.

James de WinterJames de Winter taught science in secondary schools for eight years. Although no longer in the classroom on a daily basis, he still considers himself to be physics teacher, and now spends most of his working life supporting the teaching of physics. He works at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, running the Secondary Physics PGCE initial teacher education course as well as teaching on the Primary PGCE and MEd Courses. He also runs training courses for in-service teachers, who tend mainly to be biologists, where the need for support with physics seems greatest. Recently he has noticed that there is a world outside physics and has been looking for ways to incorporate a love of natural history into physics teaching. His most recent project is one using birdsong and sonograms to teach about sound, frequency and pitch as well as wider observational and data handling skills. His teaching pack aimed at primary and secondary aged children, with associated notes (and sounds) is available at www.physicsandbirdsong.co.uk.

Peter ZinovieffPeter Zinovieff founded England’s first computer-controlled music studio in the 1960s, where he worked extensively with composers such as Harrison Birtwistle and Hans Werner Henze. He also created the world’s first affordable portable synthesizer, the VCS3. Peter created the libretto for Birtwistle’s opera, The Mask of Orpheus. His own recent compositions include the multi-track spatial Bridges from Somewhere and Another to Somewhere Else for TBA 21’s Morning Line installation in Istanbul and Vienna (2010–11); the violin concerti Our and Our Too with Aisha Orazbayeva (2011 and 2014); and Good Morning Ludwig for surround-sound multi-channel electronics (TBA 21, ZKM Karlsruhe, 2012). He has collaborated with Katrina Porteous on Horse for the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead 2011; and Edge for the Centre for Life Planetarium, Newcastle, and BBC Radio 4 during the British Science Festival 2013.

2013 / Nature Matters In Time and Place

Mark AveryDr Mark Avery worked for the RSPB for twenty-five years – first as a scientist and for the latter half of that time as the Society’s Conservation Director. He is now a freelance writer and environmental commentator. His book, Fighting for Birds: 25 years in nature conservation, was published in 2012 by Pelagic Publishing. He writes a daily blog on UK nature conservation matters at www.markavery.info.

Chris BainesChris Baines is one of the UK’s leading independent environmentalists and an award winning writer and broadcaster. He is self-employed and works as an adviser to central and local government and to a number of corporate clients in the water, financial management and urban regeneration industries. He trained originally as a horticulturist and he has been a champion of wildlife gardening, urban ecology and cross-sectoral partnership working for more than 40 years. A founder of the first urban wildlife group, in Birmingham, in 1979, he created the first wildlife garden at Chelsea Flower Show in 1985, and his book How to Make a Wildlife Garden has been in print for almost 30 years. He is a national Vice President of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. In 2004 he was awarded the RSPB’s medal of honour, and in 2013 he received the Peter Scott Memorial Award from the British Naturalists Association.

John BarlowJohn Barlow is a poet, editor, publisher and designer. His poetry is largely informed by considerations of the haiku tradition, both classical and modern, and often fuses the worlds of outer and inner landscape. It has received awards in Britain, America, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, while works he has edited have been honoured by the Haiku Society of America and the Poetry Society of America. A cast contributor to Caught By The River, and a major contributor to Haiku in English (W. W. Norton, 2013) and Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2013), he has given talks and readings at a diverse range of conferences, venues and events, including Haiku North America, Oxford University, Birdfair, and Festival No. 6. His books include The New Haiku (with Martin Lucas, 2002) and Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku (with Matthew Paul, 2008).

Charles BennettCharles Bennett is a highly regarded, prize-winning poet whose work has been published to wide acclaim in the UK, Europe and America. He was born in the North West of England and was a mature student in the 1980s at London University and the University of Massachusetts, where he was mentored by Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky. Following the completion of a doctorate on the structure of meaning in Seamus Heaney’s sequences, he taught English and Drama for several years before becoming the first Director of Ledbury Poetry Festival, which he established and ran for a number of highly-successful years before stepping down to become an academic. He is currently Reader in Poetry at the University of Northampton where he leads the BA in Creative Writing. His engaging second full-length collection, How to Make a Woman Out of Water, appeared with Enitharmon in 2007. His poems have featured in over 150 poetry magazines including the Times Literary Supplement, and in 2014 he will be writer-in-residence at Wicken Fen.

Peter BrownPeter Brown is an ecologist and senior lecturer in zoology at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. From 2005 to 2008 he worked in the Biological Records Centre at Monks Wood (part of NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), where he was initially employed as project officer for the UK Ladybird Survey. He then had a role in helping to coordinate the data and work of many recording schemes, dealing with the volunteers that collect and collate records of different groups of plants and animals. Peter’s research has focussed on ladybirds and alien species – and in particular the spread and effects of the harlequin ladybird – see www.harlequin-survey.org and www.ladybird-survey.org. With Dr Helen Roy (CEH), Peter jointly leads the UK Ladybird Survey and is very keen on involving both adults and children in ‘citizen science’ projects. With Helen, he has published many papers and various books and guides on ladybirds.

Hattie EllisHattie Ellis is a food writer and author of nine books on food and drink that focus on where food comes from and the people who grow, farm, collect and produce it. Her latest book is What to Eat (Portobello, 2012), which explores food dilemmas like – What is a sustainable fish? What is a green kitchen? Does any diet work? Is eating local parochial? The underlying message is that the solutions are rooted in common sense and delicious real food. Hattie has written for many newspapers and magazines and also online for the BBC and others. She lives in London and East Sussex.

Jonathan ElphickJonathan Elphick is a naturalist, specialising in ornithology, who has worked since 1969 as a writer, editor and consultant for many publishers, including the Natural History Museum and the BBC. He is a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London and a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. His books include The Birdwatcher’s Handbook, an award-winning BBC field guide to the birds of Britain and Ireland, Birds: The Art of Ornithology, Great Birds of Europe, and, most recently, the bestselling multimedia title Birdsong. Jonathan was researcher on two vital celebrations of the cultural importance of birds, Birds Britannica and the forthcoming Birds and People, and is currently working on a major new bird book for the NHM. Among his varied interests are the history of natural history, food and cookery, ethnomusicology, local history and the interface between science and the arts. He lives next to the Exe Estuary in Devon.
www.jonathanelphick.co.uk

Melissa HarrisonMelissa Harrison is a writer, magazine sub-editor and photographer who grew up largely outdoors with her five siblings. She won the John Muir Trust’s ‘Wild Writing’ award for 2010 and her debut novel, Clay, is published by Bloomsbury. She lives in South London with her husband, Anthony, and rescue dog, Scout, and blogs about urban wildlife at www.talesofthecity.co.uk. She writes for the Guardian, Caught By The River and the Weekend FT, and has worked with the National Trust on their ‘Outdoor Childhood’ campaign.

Stephanie HilborneStephanie Hilborne OBE is Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts. Driven by concern for the future of the natural environment, Stephanie’s conviction is that The Wildlife Trusts, which have more than 800,000 members, have a key role to play in its recovery. The Wildlife Trusts comprise 47 individual Wildlife Trusts collectively managing more than 2,000 nature reserves in the UK. Uniquely placed in local communities, Wildlife Trusts (in England) last year provided management advice to more than 5,000 landowners and reviewed over 70,000 planning applications. It was the only conservation organisation actively involved in all four stakeholder groups set up to consult on where Marine Conservation Zones should be sited around England. Stephanie secured a BSc in Biology and MSc in Conservation and went on to facilitate the national coalition Wildlife & Countryside Link before joining Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust in 1998 and becoming Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts in 2004.

Rob LambertRob Lambert is a multi-disciplinary academic at the University of Nottingham, working in environmental history and tourism & the environment. A Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, and a past President of the European Society for Environmental History, he has co-edited the international journal Environment and History since 2000. He has also been a programme consultant and talking head expert to the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol, working on a number of TV and radio documentaries including the series Birds Britannia, Making Scotland’s Landscape, When Britain Went Wild, Why the British Love Wildlife and Torrey Canyon: toxic tide. His books include the monograph Contested Mountains (2001), and the edited volumes Species History in Scotland (1998), Rothiemurchus: Nature and People on a Highland Estate 1500–2000 (with T.C. Smout, 1999) and Invasive and Introduced Plants and Animals: human perceptions, attitudes and approaches to management (with Ian Rotherham, 2011).

Martin LucasMartin Lucas is a haiku poet, birder and table tennis player – not necessarily in that order or to professional standard. His academic background is in English Literature, Religious Studies and Creative Writing, including a PhD from Cardiff, University of Wales, for his thesis on haiku in Britain (2001). He is a past president of the British Haiku Society and has edited or co-edited three major haiku anthologies. Since 1996 he has managed and edited the haiku journal Presence, soon to reach its fiftieth issue, and recently assessed as “the most important haiku journal in English outside the United States” (Haiku in English).

Georgina MaceGeorgina Mace is Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystems and Director of the UCL Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research (CBER). Previously she was Director of the Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College London (2006–2011), and Director of Science at the Zoological Society of London (2000–2006). Her research interests are in measuring the trends and consequences of biodiversity loss and ecosystem change. She has worked on IUCN’s Red List of threatened species, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the UK National Ecosystem Assessment and the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme (ESPA). She was awarded a CBE in 2007, elected FRS in 2002, and was the 2007 winner of the international Cosmos prize. She is President of the British Ecological Society (2011–2013), a member of NERC Council and Chair of the Scientific Committee of DIVERSITAS.
www.ucl.ac.uk/cber/about-us/georgina-mace

Lucy McRobertLucy McRobert is an environmental historian, nature writer, wildlife blogger and Creative Director of the ‘A Focus On Nature’ scheme, which seeks to encourage young people into nature conservation careers in Britain. She gained a First Class degree from the University of Nottingham in 2012, and her final year Dissertation on the nature reserve ‘ideal’ in Britain after the Second World War was awarded the Robert Mellors Prize for English History. Whilst an undergraduate, she was runner-up in BBC Wildlife magazine ‘Nature Writer of the Year’ competition. Lucy has written for Nottinghamshire Today, the Newark Herald, the Ghosts of Gone Birds international art/conservation symposium, 2020 Vision (2012), Birdwatching and BBC Wildlife. Most recently, she has been asked to pen a column in Birdwatch magazine, discussing controversial wildlife topics, and is currently assisting environmentalist and author Tony Juniper in the research of his forthcoming book What has Nature ever done for Britain?, in conjunction with The Wildlife Trusts.

Harriet MeadHarriet Mead is an award-winning sculptor and the President of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA). The influence of her late father, the ornithologist, author and broadcaster, Chris Mead, meant it was probably inevitable that she should take an interest in natural history and use it in her work. During her time at the helm of the SWLA, Harriet has worked to broaden their audience and to shrug off the negative connotations of wildlife art. Having worked on various projects with the Artists for Nature Foundation, she also has plans to encourage conservation organisations to make use of the SWLA pool of artists to help bring a different perspective to their projects and to highlight areas of conservation concern all over the world.
www.harrietmead.co.uk

Nick MoranNick Moran is a birder. In 2009 he escaped from the grip of teaching Biology in secondary schools to live the dream and now works for BTO, where he runs BirdTrack. He is particularly interested in migration, whether that’s mobilising birdwatchers’ records to better understand the changing patterns of arrival and departure times of migratory species, or scouring the north Norfolk coast in the vain hope of finding a rare vagrant. If you don’t already use the BirdTrack App to log your sightings in the field via a smartphone, Nick will explain why it’s the way forward!
www.birdtrack.net

Elliot MorleyElliot Morley was born in Liverpool and became interested in nature conservation as a member of the Merseyside Naturalists Association and the Merseyside Ringing Group. He was elected MP for Glanford and Scunthorpe in 1987 and served as a shadow minister from 1989 to 1997. He was Parliamentary Secretary in MAFF from 1997 to 2003, responsible for animal welfare, water policy, flood defence, forestry, fisheries and agri-environment, Minister for Water, Nature Conservation, and Waste Management in DEFRA till 2006, and later Minister for Environment and Climate Change. He chaired the Parliamentary Select Committee for Energy and Climate Change from 2007–2010, was president of GLOBE (Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment) from 2007–2009, served as vice president of the BTO, and was on the council of the RSPB and honorary vice president of the RSPCA. Married with two children, his interests include birding, natural history, nature photography, scuba diving, and travel.

Paul MortonPaul Morton is a naturalist, project manager of publishing company the Sound Approach and founder of the Birds of Poole Harbour education charity. His passion and belief in communicating with people about nature is what led him to set up a whole new charity about his ‘local patch’, Poole Harbour. Over the last 15 years Paul has built up a detailed understanding of this unique RAMSAR site in southern England and in 2010 made it his mission to interpret his knowledge to the many thousands of visitors that visited Arne RSPB reserve where he was appointed to work. The Sound Approach were recently catapulted on to the global stage when their team discovered a brand new species of Owl to science out in Oman, which they named the Omani Owl.

Stephen MossStephen Moss is a naturalist, television producer, writer and broadcaster specialising in British wildlife. In a 30 year career at the BBC, much of it based at the Natural History Unit in Bristol, he has been responsible for many successful series, including Birding with Bill Oddie, Big Cat Diary, The Nature of Britain, Springwatch, Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival and Birds Britannia, on the unique relationship between the British and our birds. He writes a monthly column on birdwatching for The Guardian, and regularly contributes to other newspapers and magazines. His books include A Bird in the Bush: A Social History of Birdwatching, This Birding Life, A Sky Full of Starlings, The Bumper Book of Nature and a natural history of his country parish, Wild Hares and Hummingbirds. He is married with five children, and lives on the Somerset Levels.
www.stephenmoss.tv

Donald MurrayDonald S. Murray comes from Ness in Lewis but now lives in Shetland. A poet, author, teacher for nearly 30 years and an occasional journalist, Donald’s books range in tone and content from The Guga Hunters and And On This Rock: Italian Chapel, Orkney (Birlinn) to Small Expectations (Two Ravens Press) and Weaving Songs (Acair) which was inspired by his father’s work as a weaver in the Harris Tweed Industry. Widely praised and published, he has been awarded the Jessie Kesson Writing Fellowship and the Robert Louis Stevenson Award. He has also been shortlisted for the Saltire and Callum Macdonald Award. His latest book is The Guga Stone: Lies, Legends and Lunacies From St Kilda (Luath Press, 2013). As a fully qualified teacher, he has given many talks in primary schools, secondary schools and to adult audiences at book festivals and elsewhere. His venues include the University of Reykjavik, the Nordic Centre in Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, the Edinburgh Festival, Blasket Visitor Centre in County Kerry, Ireland and many places in between.

Matthew OatesMatthew Oates has worked for the National Trust in various incarnations for 24 years, originally by providing practical habitat management advice but recently by developing the Trust’s wildlife and nature media work and by helping the Trust’s efforts to facilitate people’s relationships with Nature. A deep lover of butterflies, with some incipient knowledge, he is also interested in some other invertebrate groups, though unable to take specimens / kill anything. Formerly, he helped to develop nature conservation grazing. A poet, author, broadcaster and follower of the poetic approach to Nature, his life’s work concerns unravelling the mysteries of the Purple Emperor and reinstating the capital N in Nature.

Bill OddieBill Oddie is Britain’s best-known birder, and one of the most longstanding and familiar faces of wildlife television. After finding fame as one of the 1970s comedy trio The Goodies, Bill tuned his lifelong passion for birds into a second career, travelling throughout Britain and the world with series such as Birding with Bill Oddie, Bill Oddie Goes Wild and of course Springwatch, all presented in his inimitable, ‘organic freeform’ style. In recent years he has become a major figurehead for conservation at home and abroad, joining various causes including the anti badger culling campaign.

Chris PackhamChris Packham sprang to fame almost 30 years ago as the spiky haired presenter (along with Terry Nutkins, Michaela Strachan and later Nick Baker) of The Really Wild Show. After a period ‘in the wilderness’ away from our TV screens he came back with a vengeance as the uber-geek frontman of Springwatch and Autumnwatch, where he shows off his extensive and often quirky knowledge of British wildlife and 1980s alternative music. Chris is also a keen and highly accomplished photographer and author.

Ruth PadelRuth Padel is an award-winning poet and novelist inspired by nature. Writing in The Telegraph, Andrew O’Hagan described her as ‘A poet and a scholar with a beautifully patient understanding, reminiscent of Ted Hughes, of how the natural world invests itself in our experience’. Born in an attic in Wimpole Street, Ruth went on to study classics in Oxford, Berlin and Paris, before becoming a full-time writer in 1984. She has also written a wide range of non-fiction books and essays on topics in the arts, sciences and popular culture. Her most recent book is The Mara Crossing (Chatto and Windus, 2012) on migration and immigration.
www.ruthpadel.com

Matthew PaulMatthew Paul was shortlisted for the Pighog Press / Poetry School Pamphlet Competition 2013 and is the writer/editor, with John Barlow, of Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku. His first collection of haiku, The Regulars, was published by Snapshot Press in 2006 and his second, The Lammas Lands, is forthcoming from the same publisher. He posts a poem or haiku daily on his blog: http://matthewpaulpoems.blogspot.co.uk.

Nik PollardNik Pollard is a painter, printmaker and illustrator. His work stems from a passion for the natural world and is generated from sustained, direct observation. He makes drawings and paintings in the field and develops ideas through printmaking in the studio. He has participated in a number of national and international art projects highlighting the importance and vulnerability of specific habitats and wildlife in support of conservation. His work has led to collaborations with schools, colleges, galleries and museums, engaging communities with the natural environment through residencies and workshops. He is a published writer and illustrator of children’s picture books and has served on council for the Society of Wildlife Artists. He trained at the Royal College of Art.

Katrina PorteousKatrina Porteous is an acclaimed poet, historian and broadcaster. Born in Aberdeen, Katrina later graduated from Cambridge with a degree in history in 1982. Since 1987 she’s been a freelance writer and her poetry, which involves a detailed and loving celebration of the people, landscapes and wildlife of the Northumbrian coast, has won several awards. Her major collections, often done in collaboration with artists and musicians, include The Lost Music, The Wund an’ the Wetter, Turning the Tide and Longshore Drift.
www.katrinaporteous.co.uk

Ian RotherhamIan Rotherham is Professor of Environmental Geography and Reader in Tourism & Environmental Change at Sheffield Hallam University. An ecologist and environmental historian, he is an authority on landscape history and especially on fens, bogs, woodlands, forest and heaths. He has been researching and writing about alien and invasive species, and about urban ecology for many years and is currently working on concepts and ideas of recombinant ‘hybrid’ ecologies and ecological ‘fusion’. He has published over 400 papers, articles, books and book chapters. Ian is an active conservation campaigner, has a popular BBC radio ’phone-in, writes for local and regional newspapers, and works with the media nationally and internationally. He lectures widely to local groups and works closely with the Wildlife Trusts, Natural England, English Heritage, the National Trust and the RSPB. He has a research website www.ukeconet.org and a blog http://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com.

Hugh WarwickHugh Warwick is an author and ecologist with a particular, and some consider peculiar, interest in hedgehogs. In his first book, A Prickly Affair, he argued that hedgehogs are the most important creature on the planet and in The Beauty in the Beast ended up getting his first and last tattoo (of a hedgehog, of course). But eccentricities aside, his background is in science and his critique of the attempts to kill all the hedgehogs on the Uists in the Outer Hebrides has been accepted as honest and reasonable, even by those he was rather vigorously attacking.

Brett WestwoodBrett Westwood has been presenting and producing Radio 4 programmes for over fifteen years at the BBC Natural History Unit. These include Living World, Saving Species, Nature and World on the Move. He is the UK natural history consultant for Springwatch and Autumnwatch and an accomplished field naturalist with particular interests in birds, plants and insects. He writes the monthly accounts of natural history for BBC Wildlife magazine.

2012 / Nature Matters

Kim AtkinsonKim Atkinson is an artist with a particular interest in birds, plants, insects and interactions of species within habitats. She uses a variety of media including printmaking and painting, her studio work usually being developed from drawings of subjects and experiences of nature in her garden, on the cliffs near her home, and at times under water while snorkelling. Her art education was both in painting and later in natural history illustration, resulting in an MA at the Royal College of Art. She has participated in Artists for Nature Foundation projects around the world, and she regularly exhibits work at the Society of Wildlife Artists, of which she is a member. Her work also appears in several anthologies of Wildlife Art, most recently Wildlife in Printmaking (Langford Press, 2011). From 2008 to 2010 she collaborated with Noëlle Griffiths to make the art book Bird Song in which the artists made a visual and written response to the soundscapes of two very different landscapes in North Wales. This and other work can be viewed at www.oriel.org.uk.

Mark AveryDr Mark Avery worked for the RSPB for twenty-five years – first as a scientist and for the latter half of that time as the Society’s Conservation Director. He is now a freelance writer and environmental commentator. His latest book, Fighting for Birds: 25 years in nature conservation, is published in August 2012 by Pelagic Publishing. He writes a daily blog on UK nature conservation matters at www.markavery.info.

Charles BennettCharles Bennett is a highly regarded, prize-winning poet whose work has been published to wide acclaim in the UK, Europe and America. He was born in the North West of England and was a mature student in the 1980s at London University and the University of Massachusetts, where he was mentored by Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky. Following the completion of a doctorate on the structure of meaning in Seamus Heaney’s sequences, he taught English and Drama for several years before becoming the first Director of Ledbury Poetry Festival, which he established and ran for a number of highly-successful years before stepping down to become an academic. He is currently Reader in Poetry at the University of Northampton where he leads the BA in Creative Writing. His engaging second full-length collection, How to Make a Woman Out of Water, appeared with Enitharmon in 2007. His poems have been reviewed by Frieda Hughes in The Times and have featured in over 150 poetry magazines including the Times Literary Supplement.

Ronald BlytheRonald Blythe is a celebrated novelist, essayist, literary commentator and grand old man of British letters. He has written more than 20 books including his best known, the award-winning Akenfield (1970). At 90 years of age he is still immensely active. His latest memoir, At the Yeoman’s House (Enitharmon Press, 2011), he describes as ‘a kind of poem’ on his idyllic country home, Bottengoms, which once belonged to his old friend, the artist John Nash. Ronald Blythe received the Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature in 2005 and is the President of the John Clare Society, to whom he has given an annual lecture at Helpston for the last 31 years.
Details of ‘An Evening with Ronald Blythe’.

Bob ChilcottBob Chilcott works tirelessly as a composer and choral conductor. Described by The Observer as “a contemporary hero of British Choral Music”, he has over 125 pieces published by Oxford University Press, and two acclaimed recordings on Signum: Making Waves (The Sirens) and Man I Sing (BBC Singers). In 2002 he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC’s acclaimed professional choir, the BBC Singers, and he has conducted other distinguished choirs including RIAS Kammerchor, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Jauna Musika, The World Youth Choir, Tower New Zealand Youth Choir, Taipei Chamber Singers, Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir, and the Kyoto Echo Choir. Since 1997 he has conducted in 23 countries, and in 2012 he has invitations to conduct in Poland, Denmark, Spain, Germany, China, Japan, USA, and Canada.

Mark CockerMark Cocker is an author and naturalist and contributes regularly to The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement and other publications. All of his eight books deal with modern responses to wilderness, whether found in landscape, human societies or in other species. His last work, Crow Country, was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2008 and won the New Angle Prize 2009. For the last five years he has being working on a major new book with photographer David Tipling. Birds and People (Jonathan Cape) is a worldwide survey of the cultural importance of birds and is due out in 2013.

Peter CowdreyPeter Cowdrey is passionate about birds and birdsong. In 2009 he founded the ensemble The Conference of Birds, who received British Council funding to travel to Amazonia to work with local composers and ornithologists. They perform birdsong inspired music from the baroque through Messiaen and co-create music with Peter. The Conference of Birds also lead birdsong and music walking tours: in Spring 2013 these will be in Estonia (with Geoff Sample and Mark Cocker) and Andalucia. The Conference of Birds is also working on a long term education project ‘Birdswing’, using graphic representations of sound to reconnect children and adults with the outdoor world. They are working in partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to adapt Raven sound analysis software for use in primary schools worldwide.

Nick DaviesNick Davies is professor of behavioural ecology at the University of Cambridge. He has studied the social behaviour of birds for many years and the European Cuckoo is one of his major interests. Nick is one of the world’s leading ornithologists: he has written the best-selling text book on behavioural ecology and his book Cuckoos, Cowbirds and other Cheats won Bird Book of the Year. He was also the ‘star’ of the BBC documentary The Cuckoo. Nick is one of those rare scientists whose talks have wonderful clarity and enthusiasm.

Clem FisherClem Fisher has been a curator in the Vertebrate Zoology Section of National Museums Liverpool since 1975, having previously worked for the distinguished ornithologist David Snow at the Natural History Museum. Her main research interest is Australian natural history collections 1838–1850, and she is taking up a two-year Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship to work on the important naturalist John Gilbert. Recently she has assisted many of the artists involved in Ceri Levy’s “Ghosts of Gone Birds” exhibitions with access to the Liverpool collections. After looking after them for nearly 40 years, many of these extinct birds – the Liverpool Pigeon, Lord Derby’s Swamphen and the truly remarkable New Caledonian Goatsucker – are now her personal friends. Clem is also interested in archaeological bone, the Nonsense Poet and animal artist Edward Lear, and the history of Toxteth Deer Park. Off-duty she fights weeds on her allotment by the mighty Mersey, and often stays up far too late watching American baseball on TV.

Katrina van GrouwKatrina van Grouw is a former curator of the ornithological collections at The Natural History Museum, a taxidermist, experienced bird ringer, successful fine artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Art. An enthusiast of historical illustrated natural history books and an expert on traditional printing techniques, she is also the author of Birds, a historical retrospective of bird art published under her maiden name Katrina Cook. The creation of The Unfeathered Bird has been her lifetime’s ambition. The book, described as “a marvelous fusion of art and science, with a playful edge” is due to be published by Princeton University Press in late November. Originally aimed specifically at artists using bird imagery in their work, it is equally of interest to anyone with an appreciation of birds, art or both. Katrina is now beginning work on another illustrated book, this time about the anatomy of domesticated animals. Entitled Unnatural Selection, it will be published by Princeton in 2015.

Chris HewsonChris Hewson is a researcher working at the BTO. His core interest is in the ecology and conservation of migratory birds, especially those commuting between Africa and Britain. Chris has played a pivotal role in the use of new technologies for tracking migrant birds, including the use of geolocators on Swifts and Nightingales and the deployment of satellite tags on Cuckoos. This work is revealing new information about movement patterns, stopover sites and wintering areas.

Conor JamesonConor Jameson is an author and conservationist, who spends too much time tinkering with shrubs and looking for goshawks. “In the course of writing Silent Spring Revisited I became especially interested in what the scientists call ‘shifting baseline syndrome’,” he says, “with the dawning realisation that I might have it.”

Peter MarrenPeter Marren is a writer and sometime journalist on natural history matters. His books include Bugs Britannica (a journey through the folklore of invertebrates), The New Naturalists and Britain’s Rare Flowers. His other topics include the history of butterfly collecting, the fortunes and conservation of wild flowers, field mycology generally, the names of species and a long-running commentary about conservation and conservationists in his ‘Twitcher in the Swamp’ column in British Wildlife. He also writes obituaries and book reviews. His book on Mushrooms is to be published in 2012. Work in hand includes his completed childhood memoirs from age 0 to 21, to be entitled Nature Boy or some such.

Michael McCarthyMichael McCarthy is the long-standing environment editor for The Independent newspaper and has won several prestigious awards for his commitment to and coverage of the natural world. He has three times been named Environment Reporter of the Year and in 2007 was awarded the RSPB’s medal for an outstanding contribution to conservation – the first time the medal has gone to a journalist. His book Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo (2009) is a beautifully written account of the appalling decline of what he calls ‘the spring bringers’ – the songbirds that migrate between Africa and Europe each year.

Andrew McNeillieAndrew McNeillie founded the magazine Archipelagoin 2007, and the Clutag Press, which publishes it, more than ten years ago. Of his several books of verse and memoir perhaps best known is his highly-praised addition to the literature of the Aran Islands, An Aran Keening (2001). His most recent book of poems is Losers Keepers (an Agenda special edition, 2011). A graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford, he was latterly Literature Editor at Oxford University Press before going on to teach at Exeter University where he is now Professor Emeritus. He was born in 1946 in North Wales, the son of the ruralist Ian Niall, and is currently writing a book with the working title Wildish Destinies.

Peter MelchettPeter Melchett has been Policy Director of the Soil Association, the UK’s main organic food and farming organization, since 2001. He runs an 890-acre organic farm in Norfolk, with beef cattle and arable seed crops. He is a member of the BBC’s Rural Affairs Committee and was a member of the Government’s Rural Climate Change Forum and Organic Action Plan Group. A former member of the House of Lords, he was a Labour Government Minister from 1974 to 1979 at the Departments of Environment, Industry, and Northern Ireland (covering education and health). He has been President or Chair of several conservation NGOs, including the Ramblers and Wildlife Link, and was Director of Greenpeace UK (1985–2000), chairing Greenpeace Japan (1995–2001). Greenpeace launched their global campaign against GM crops in 1997, and Peter was one of twenty-eight volunteers arrested for removing GM maize in 1999; all the volunteers were found not guilty in the subsequent court case.

Matt MerrittMatt Merritt is a poet whose books Making The Most Of The Light (HappenStance, 2005), Troy Town (Arrowhead, 2008) and hydrodaktulopsychicharmonica (Nine Arches, 2010) focus on the natural world, and man’s interaction with it. He is a journalist at Bird Watching Magazine, blogs at polyolbion.blogspot.co.uk, and lives near Leicester. For Nature Matters, Matt will read from his collections, highlighting the music of nature, and our response to it.

Ruth PadelRuth Padel is an award-winning Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Member of the Bombay Natural History Society, and a Fellow and Council Member of the Zoological Society of London. She is acclaimed for her nature writing across several genres: her tiger conservation memoir, her wildlife novel Where the Serpent Lives, poems on the life and work of her great-great grandfather Charles Darwin, and poems on migration – animal, human, cells and souls – in her new book, The Mara Crossing. Her radio broadcasting includes ‘Poetry Workshop’, a landmark BBC 4 series of programmes on writing poems, and ‘Wild Thing’, her annual series of talks for Radio 3 on British wild animals.

Bruce PearsonBruce Pearson has exhibited his art widely in the UK and overseas and currently is currently concluding the Troubled Waters project, a personal creative journey trailing the albatross and the threat of extinction it faces. He is fascinated by the rhythm and restlessness of the natural world and often completes a painting directly in the field, while volumes of sketches and studies provide ideas and fresh starting points for painting and printmaking work in the studio. Species in wild landscapes, or in places where people and their activity interact with habitats and wildlife, are the themes that interest him most.
www.brucepearson.net

Jim PerrinJim Perrin is one of the country’s leading rock-climbers and the author of fourteen books including The Villain (2005), his award-winning biography of the climber Don Whillans, and West (2010), a hugely acclaimed memoir about personal tragedy and his triumph over grief. He is Fellow of the Welsh Academy and Hon. Fellow of Bangor University.

Dame Fiona ReynoldsDame Fiona Reynolds has been Director-General of the National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland since 1 January 2001. She has degrees in Geography and Land Economy from Cambridge University. Before the Trust, Fiona spent eighteen years in the voluntary conservation movement (as chief executive of the Council for National Parks and CPRE) and in the Cabinet Office as Director of the Women’s Unit from 1998–2000. Her recreations are walking, landscape history, classical music and opera.

Andrea RoeAndrea Roe is an artist and lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art whose work examines the nature of human and animal biology, behaviour, communication and interaction within specific ecological contexts. She has undertaken residencies in a number of institutions – ranging from the Wellcome Trust to the Crichton Royal Hospital, to the National Museums of Scotland – where she has learned about and responded to research projects and collections. The anthology Things Unspoken, published by the Pier Arts Centre, places Andrea’s work in dialogue with that of writers who share her interest in human and animal interaction, the ambiguity of wild and domestic states and in collecting and conservation. This publication continues the artist’s research into contemporary animal studies. More specifically it is informed by an exploration of the state or idea of wildness and of how this might be considered and communicated through the visual.
www.andrea-roe.com

David TiplingDavid Tipling is a wildlife photographer with a passion for birds. For more than a decade David ran a successful photographic agency before giving it up to be able to get back out in the field to shoot pictures. He has travelled widely picking up awards for his work conducted in far flung corners of the globe. They include the documentary award from the European Nature Photographer of the Year for his work on Emperor Penguins. In the US David was awarded the Nature’s Best Indigenous Peoples award for his work on Kazakh eagle hunters in western Mongolia. He is the author of a number of books including the RSPB Guide to Digital Wildlife Photography and writes regularly for various print and online magazines on photography. Most recently David was a member of the 2020 Vision team. He is currently working with author Mark Cocker on Birds and People, a book exploring the worldwide cultural importance of birds. A photographic monograph on Owls in collaboration with photographer Jari Peltömaki, and his own book on penguins, are also due out in 2013.

Hanna TuulikkiHanna Tuulikki is a musician, visual artist and illustrator whose primary focus is the human voice. She often uses voice as a material to experiment with ways of dissolving language and distinctions between separate phenomena. One aspect of her work stems from an interest in the role of song and sound mimesis as way to engage with environment and the sounds that emanate from landscape. Another aspect grows from an interest in ideas of community and the meaning of song in human relationships. Exploration of folk traditions also runs through her work. Air falbh leis na h-eòin (Away with the Birds in Gaelic) is a vocal piece investigating the relationship between the Scottish Gaelic tradition and bird communities. It specifically focuses on the imitation of bird sounds in Gaelic folk song, evoking the sounds, movements and interactions of several species of birds within a Hebridean landscape. For Nature Matters, Hanna will perform a version of this with vocalists Nerea Bello and Lucy Duncombe and field recordings by Geoff Sample.

Andrew WhitehouseAndrew Whitehouse is a birder and anthropologist, who teaches at the University of Aberdeen. His research has included fieldwork in Islay, Scotland where he investigated the relations between conservation and the local community. More recently he has explored the human relations with bird sounds through the Listening to Birds project. In addition to his academic work, Andrew has a lifelong interest in birds and wildlife cultivated in the edgelands of Northamptonshire and the wetlands of Norfolk. He now spends his spare time birding in exotic places abroad and looking for rare birds and discarded household appliances at Girdle Ness in Aberdeen.
www.abdn.ac.uk/birdsong

Image credits

Photograph of Andrew Balmford by Ben Balmford; Simon Barnes by David Bebber; Oliver Burke by Phil Mynott; Bob Chilcott by Vicky Alhadeff; Mark Cocker by Rachael Cocker; Sam Lee by Frederic Aranda; Michael McCarthy by Tim Birkhead; Andrew McNeillie by Jemimah Kuhfield; Ruth Padel by Gwen Burnyeat; Pascale Petit by Kaido Vainomaa. Image of Philip Hoare by Joe Lyward.