New Networks for Nature, September 2016

New Networks for Nature

In Touch with the Wild

David Attenborough Building, Cambridge

22-24 September 2016

New Networks for Nature is an annual event which brings together people from a variety of backgrounds in science, environmentalism and the arts, who share a belief that the natural environment is crucial to human imagination, creativity and well-being. I have the honour of being an ‘Ambassador’ for this network. This year’s symposium was held in collaboration with Cambridge Conservation Initiative.

As part of Friday’s events, I chaired an afternoon session on ‘Reconnection’, with geographer Ivan Scales, writer Sharon Blackie, and street artist @ATMStreetart. This session took as its starting point the question of how we take personal connection with the natural world to a broader audience. Ivan used his work on biodiversity conservation in Madagascar to talk about the political ecology of reconnection; Sharon spoke of the ways myths and stories of place help us reconnect; and @ATMStreetart showed some of the fabulous over-sized bird images which he paints on walls in urban areas to remind people of what has been lost and what still remains. 

goldfinch-009

The session was prefaced by Katharine Norbury, speaking and reading from her brilliant recent book, The Fish Ladder.

On Saturday morning I led one of a dozen workshops, Listening to a Landscape, on how poets connect to the physicality of landscape through sound. These workshops were followed by a closing session on Hope. It was cheering to hear 30-second summaries of restoration and reintroduction from around the room. The final and most moving words, infused with a lifetime of experience and an ultimate uplifting belief in humanity, came from Sir David Attenborough himself — a truly inspirational man:

img_4309

‘In our hearts we know that we are part of the natural world. If the natural world is diminished, we are diminished.’ – David Attenborough.

Next year’s New Networks for Nature annual event will take place in Stamford, 16-18 Nov 2017.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s