Dafila Scott - Cranes over the fen

New Networks for Nature was a registered charity from 2016 to 2024, governed by a Board of Trustees. Our final trustees were:

Tim Birkhead, the Chair of Trustees, is emeritus 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 is a Fellow of the Royal Society and as well as a passion for research, Tim has been 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) and The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird’s Egg (2016) were both short-listed for the Royal Society Popular Science Prize. His most recent book is Birds and Us (2022 Penguin/Viking).


Mary Colwell is an award-winning author, producer and campaigner for nature. Her articles have appeared in the Guardian, BBC Wildlife Magazine, The Tablet, Country Life and many other publications. She has made documentaries for the BBC Natural History Unit in both TV and radio, and has published three books: John Muir – the Scotsman Who Saved America’s Wild Places, Curlew Moon and Beak Tooth and Claw, also published by William Collins, in April 2021. Her fourth book, The Gathering Place, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2023. In 2009 she won a Sony Radio Academy Gold award and in October 2017 she was awarded the Dilys Breese Medal by the BTO for outstanding science communication, in 2018, the David Bellamy Award from the Gamekeepers Association for her conservation work on curlews and in 2019, the WWT Marsh Award for Conservation. She spearheaded the establishment of a GCSE in Natural History. In March 2021 she was appointed Chair of the government supported Curlew Recovery Partnership England, a roundtable of organisations charged with restoring curlews, their habitats and associated wildlife across England. In 2020 she set up the charity, Curlew Action.

John Fanshawe is an author, curator and environmentalist based in north Cornwall.   Over the last 35 years, 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 field guide, Birds of East Africa (2001, 2021), and with Nigel Redman and Terry Stevenson of Birds of the Horn of Africa (2009, 2016).  With Mark Cocker, he edited and published the complete works of the author J. A. Baker, including The Peregrine, in 2010.  He has an MA in Art and Environment from University College Falmouth and, since 2016, has been Curator of the Arts, Science and Conservation Programme (ASCP), for the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI).

Jeremy Mynott  is the author of: Birdscapes: birds in our experience and imagination (2009), described by the Guardian reviewer as ‘the finest book written on why we watch birds’; Birds in the Ancient World: Winged Words (2018), shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize; Knowing your Place: Wildlife in Shingle Street (2016), arising from a local biodiversity survey; and most recently, with Michael McCarthy and Peter Marren, The Consolation of Nature: Spring in the Time of Coronavirus (2020), a Guardian ‘Book of the Year’ . He is a founder member of ‘New Networks for Nature’ and co-author of a report for the Green Party on A New Deal for Nature (2019). His earlier professional career was in publishing at Cambridge University Press, where he became editorial director, then chief executive. He is an Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge.

Ruth Padel is a poet, novelist and non-fiction author with close links to Darwin, Asian wildlife, and Greece. Her twelve poetry collections include Darwin, A Life in Poems, and We Are All from Somewhere Else, a poetry-and-prose book on animal and human migration quoted in Ebb and Flow, the World Bank’s 2021 report on water and migration. Her prose includes books on tiger conservation, Greek tragedy, and a novel, Daughters of the Labyrinth, set on Crete. Her broadcasting includes two series for Radio 4 of Wild Things, on wild British species. Awards include a British Council Darwin Now Award for her first novel, Where the Serpent Lives, which focusses on wildlife conservation in India, and First Prize in the UK National Poetry Competition. ‘Hormones, Divinity and Forest’, her Jane Harrison lecture for Newnham College Cambridge, combines her work on wildlife, science and ancient Greece. She is Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Zoological Society of London, and Professor of Poetry at King’s College London.

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