Nature Matters 2018, Creating Change - Celebrating our 10th Anniversary

Our tenth anniversary meeting of New Networks is fast approaching (15-17 November 2018 at Stamford, Lincolnshire), and we are looking forward to seeing you there. It is hard to believe that a seminar that took place at Bird Life International eleven years ago bringing Jeremy Mynott, John Fanshawe, Mark Cocker and myself together, has spawned New Network’s ten consecutive annual festivals.

 John Fanshawe, Tim Birkhead, Jeremy Mynott, Mark Cocker

John Fanshawe, Tim Birkhead, Jeremy Mynott, Mark Cocker

Early in 2008, having recently completed The Wisdom of Birds (Bloomsbury 2008), I was invited by BirdLife, Cambridge to give a talk on it: the history, science and culture of ornithology. The ensuing discussion made the four of us realise that there might be some potential to build upon these topics to engage the pubic more widely. The idea of New Networks for Nature was born.

Our beginnings were modest, and in our first meeting (one day), in Oxford, we focussed on birds. Our aim was explore the different ways people were inspired by the natural world to be creative, either as writers, painters or scientists.  It was a success — everyone was inspired, enthusiastic and left wanting more. The four of us were encouraged to continue. And we did, with minimal resource and minimal bureaucracy but with broadening horizons. And here were are, a decade on, poised to celebrate our tenth birthday in what we know is a wide-ranging, exciting programme. Come and join us!

Mary Colwell