Oliver Burke is Director of Living Landscapes at the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. He studied Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool and went on to do research on coral ecology with the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Oliver has worked in the conservation, sustainability and environmental education sectors for over seventeen years within charities and public bodies. He now oversees the conservation, education and community work of the Wildlife Trust BCN and is responsible for the management of over 120 nature reserves and nine Living Landscape Projects including the Great Fen.Read More
Andrew Cleave took early retirement from his job teaching and running an Environmental Education Centre a few years ago, and is now able to concentrate on writing, photography, lecturing and tour leading. His published works, numbering over 30 titles so far, cover a range of natural history and environmental subjects, and include field guides to trees, wild flowers, seashore life and birds, biology revision guides and numerous articles in magazines and journals. Andrew is a frequent lecturer to National Trust and RSPB groups, and has also run courses on dormouse conservation and ecology. He is a committee member of the Lundy Field Society and is presently involved with a survey of the island’s flora. He has travelled extensively, especially in Europe, and led tours for Naturetrek in various parts of the Mediterranean region and Galapagos. Andrew was appointed MBE in 1995 for services to Environmental Education.Read More
Andy Clements is a naturalist and ornithologist, and has a science background. Since 2007 he has been the Chief Executive Officer of the British Trust for Ornithology and he is also the President of the Norfolk & Norwich Naturalists’ Society, a trustee of National Biodiversity Network and a member of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative Steering Group. Andy has previously worked for the Government’s nature conservation agencies, where he held various senior positions from 1982 until 2006 and helped to establish Natural England.Read More
Liz Cowdrey is an Oxfordshire-reared Manchester-degreed violinist, greatly inspired by folk and gypsy musicians in Eastern Europe. She embraces birds’ sound and energetic expressions to enhance developmental creativity through performance, transcription, improvisation and composition. With such scope for behavioural patterns of avian activity (movement and sound) to reveal ‘insightly’ nuances and quirks with corrective healing potential, she endeavours to translate inspirational observations into notes and inflections – literally or creatively. Liz led a violinist’s workshop on style and interpretation in classical music during The Conference of Birds’ residency in Brazil, and has since taken part in birdsong-inspired concerts and tours in Italy, Scotland, England and Spain. The Goldfinch Foundation’s Planet Birdsong-bound activities promise to propel any lifelong love of the natural world, through sound and landscape immersion, across exciting new frontiers.Read More
Peter Cowdrey began composing as a small boy, at which time he loved listening to the dawn chorus but was deeply frustrated at its inaccessibility – too fast, too high – and resolutely resistant to being shoehorned into what his upbringing defined as music. After spending a substantial part of his childhood turning himself into an ornithologist, Peter is delighted that recent technology has come to his rescue, making it possible to crack the hidden codes of birdsong. He is on a mission to share them with the rest of the world, especially children. More information about Peter can be found at Opera Unlimited and The Conference of Birds, and in this article by Mark Cocker in the Guardian. His compositions can be heard on his Soundcloud page.Read More
Tim Dee is a writer and radio producer. His memoir of his amateur birdwatching life The Running Skywas published in 2009. His second book Four Fields about, yes, four fields and other versions of pastoral, appeared in 2013 and is just out in paperback. With Simon Armitage he co-edited The Poetry of Birds (2009). A long time ago, he also wrote The Endemic Birds of Madagascar, a worthy but dull production, for the ICBP (now BirdLife International). He is at work on two books, one about the Spring in Europe and another about men who watch gulls, this last will be called Landfill. He has been a BBC radio producer for twenty five years and makes mostly radio dramas and poetry programmes. He is married to the behavioural ecologist Claire Spottiswoode, and they live mostly in the Cambridgeshire fens, sometimes in Bristol and, when they can, in Scarborough on the Cape Peninsula in South Africa.Read More
Paul Evans is a nature writer, radio broadcaster and lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University. He is a contributor of Country Diaries for the Guardian and Guardian Weekly and a writer and presenter of natural history documentaries, place-based features and docu-dramas on BBC Radio 4. Herbaceous, his collection of botanically-inspired poetic prose, was published in 2014. His background is in the UK nature conservation movement: the British Association of Nature Conservationists (BANC) – which he chaired from 1992–97 – and as conservation director for Plantlife. He also has considerable horticultural experience with the National Trust, as horticultural director of a botanical garden in New York and for David Austen Roses. He has been involved in performance poetry and music in the UK and New York. He holds an MA in Values and the Environment and a PhD in Philosophy from Lancaster University. He lives in Much Wenlock, Shropshire with his family.Read More
Is an author and environmentalist based in north Cornwall. Over the last three decades, 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 a field guide, Birds of East Africa(2001), and with Nigel Redman and Terry Stevenson of Birds of the Horn of Africa (2009). With Mark Cocker, he edited and published the complete works of the author J. A. Baker, including The Peregrine, in 2010. Working as a senior strategy adviser for BirdLife, and as an arts, science and conservation adviser for the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), he has a particular interest in the role of arts practice in conservation, is a member of the research cluster RANE, and has an MA in Art and Environment from University College Falmouth.Read More
Dr Bob Gibbons is a writer, photographer, and tour leader and organiser (www.naturalhistorytravel.co.uk), following an early career in nature conservation, but above all else he’s a naturalist and ecologist, passionate about nature and its conservation. He has written and/or illustrated about 40 books on nature, travel and photography, and his photographs have appeared in publications in almost 50 countries. Although his interests in nature are wide, he has a particular interest in plants and insects.
He has visited Romania about a dozen times, leading nature tours, working with a local charity to train botanists and raise awareness, and as a photographer, and he always returns home amazed and enthused at the ancient landscapes and abundance of wildlife in a climate that’s not so different to Britain’s.Read More
Gemma Harper is Chief Social Scientist and Deputy Director for Animal and Plant Health Evidence and Analysis (Aphea) in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). She is responsible for ensuring social science – which aims to put people at the heart of policy making – is high quality and has impact on strategy, policy and delivery. Gemma is also responsible for ensuring interdisciplinary evidence helps protect and enhance the contributions animal and plant health make to society. Gemma studied social psychology at London School of Economics and Political Science, and conducted post-doctoral research in the Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, The University of Reading. She is a member of the Government Social Research Leadership Board, the Cross Government Evaluation Group, the Social Research Association Strategy Group, the Public Policy Committee of the British Academy, and is currently a Policy Fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Science and Policy.Read More
Philip Hoare is the author of seven works of non-fiction, including Leviathan Or, The Whale, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize for 2009. His latest book, The Sea Inside, is published by Fourth Estate, and is a personal journey through human and natural history from Southampton and the Isle of Wight, via the Azores and Sri Lanka, to Tasmania and New Zealand. He wrote and presented the BBC 2 film, The Hunt for Moby-Dick, and directed three short films for BBC 4, Philip Hoare’s Guide to Whales. Philip is professor of creative writing at the University of Southampton, and co-curator of the Moby-Dick Big Read, a free online version of Herman Melville’s book featuring Tilda Swinton, Stephen Fry, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Waters, Simon Callow, Fiona Shaw, Mary Oliver and Sir David Attenborough. He also volunteers for the Dolphin Whalewatch in Cape Cod, where friends accuse him of spending more time with whales than with human beings.
www.philiphoare.co.uk Twitter feed: @philipwhale
Matt Howard works for the RSPB as Community Fundraiser in Eastern England. He has worked for the RSPB since 2010, having fled the insurance industry after thirteen years’ service. Through his work with the RSPB, Matt has established The RSPB and The Rialto Nature Poetry Competition in partnership with leading independent UK poetry magazine, The Rialto. His own poems have appeared widely in leading magazines since 2008 and his debut pamphlet with Eyewear Publishing will be published in late 2014 / early 2015.Read More
Rosie Johnston has directed opera in the UK and abroad. She is a published journalist and author and a regular correspondent and critic for Opera Now. She hosted Opera, Life on the High Cs on KTAO New Mexico for four years. She is artistic director for Opera Unlimited and a founder and developer of Planet Birdsong. She leads birdsong-walking tours in Italy and Spain. Rosie’s journey into the world of birdsong started in 2011. Her passion is unlocking the hidden world of birdsong with children.Read More
Tony Juniper is an independent sustainability and environment adviser, including as Special Advisor with The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit and as a Fellow with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He is a founder member of Robertsbridge, an advisory group working with international companies on strategies for more sustainable business. He speaks and writes on many aspects of sustainability and is the author of several books, including the bestselling What Has Nature Ever Done for Us?, the award-winning Parrots of the World and How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change A Planet?. He was a co-author of the award-winning Harmony, with HRH The Prince of Wales and Ian Skelly. He began his career as an ornithologist, working with Birdlife International, and was executive director of Friends of the Earth from 2003–8 and Vice Chair of Friends of the Earth International from 2000–8.
www.tonyjuniper.com Twitter feed: @tonyjuniper
Richard Kerridge is a nature writer and ecocritic. Cold Blood: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians, published by Chatto & Windus in 2014, is a mixture of memoir and nature writing. Richard’s work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in BBC Wildlife, Poetry Review and Granta. He was awarded the 2012 Roger Deakin Prize by the Society of Authors, and has twice received the BBC Wildlife Award for Nature Writing. Richard leads the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and has published numerous essays giving environmental readings of literature. He was co-editor of Writing the Environment, the first collection of ecocritical essays to be published in Britain, and a leading member of the team of creative writers and scientists led by SueEllen Campbell that wrote The Face of the Earth: Natural Landscapes, Science and Culture.Read More
Celia Locks is a writer, journalist and editor who worked on the Guardian in news and features for 27 years, and edited the Country Diary for ten. She grew up around Epping Forest in north-east London and has a lifelong interest in and love of nature. Her passion is history and the English language, and she specialises in helping writers to develop their style and present their work in the best way possible. She is now writing a book about her father, who fought in the first world war in France and Mesopotamia.Read More