Chris 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.Read More
Tim 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).Read More
Peter 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.Read More
Hattie 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.Read More
Melissa 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.Read More
Stephanie 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.Read More
Georgina 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.
Lucy 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.Read More
Harriet 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.
Nick 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!
Elliot 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.Read More
Paul 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.Read More
Donald 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.Read More
Jeremy Mynott spent most of his professional career in publishing at Cambridge University Press, working successively as editor, editorial director, managing director and chief executive. Jeremy 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) and ‘ a wonderful rumination on birds and birders through space and time for anyone interested in our relationship with nature’ (THES). In 2016 he published Knowing your Place, an account of the wildlife in the tiny Suffolk hamlet of Shingle Street; and his most recent book is a cultural history of Birds in the Ancient World: Winged Words (2018). He is an Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, a regular reviewer for the TLS and a founder member of New Networks for Nature.