Sir 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
Helen 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.
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.
Lucy 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.
William 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 gratisscheme 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 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.
David 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 …
Mike 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