Alice Owen is an environment professional with 12 years’ experience in protected area management and wildlife conservation in East Africa. She has practical experience in the challenges of wildlife management, including conservation of biodiversity hotspots in areas of rural poverty. She is now a UK resident and is currently undertaking a Master’s degree course in Wildlife Filmmaking, with the intention of pursuing a career linked to wildlife conservation and public communication. In the UK, she has previously held a position as an Operations Assistant at the Soil Association. She has also volunteered with the Somerset Wildlife Trust and with an independent microbiology lab.Read More
James Parry is a writer and consultant specialising in history, heritage, wildlife and the environment. After training as a conservation officer with English Heritage, he joined the British Council, working in East Africa and the Middle East before returning to the UK to do a Master’s degree and then joining the National Trust as its academic editor. He now leads wildlife and heritage tours and writes on natural history and conservation for various newspapers and magazines, including BBC Wildlife, Country Life, Countryfile and BirdWatching. He has also written several books, including Global Safari (2007), Rainforest Safari (2008) and The Mating Lives of Birds (2012). He is currently working on a book about Emma Turner, the pioneering early 20th-century bird photographer.
Jack Perks is a wildlife photographer specialising in freshwater fish. Wildlife has always been his passion and inspiration throughout his career as a Natural History photographer. His early memories are fishing with a net and ice cream tub catching bullheads and tadpoles which eventually lead to him picking up a camera and documenting wildlife. His main focus is underwater photography, particularly in rivers. He has filmed and featured on Springwatch, Countryfile, The One Show & Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing.
Katrina Porteous is a poet, historian and broadcaster, much of whose work involves a detailed and loving celebration of the people, landscapes and wildlife of the Northumbrian coast where she lives. She has written extensively about local inshore fishing traditions, and often works in collaboration with artists and musicians, including painter James Dodds (Longshore Drift) and piper Chris Ormston (The Wund an’ the Wetter). Her long poems for BBC radio with producer Julian May include Dunstanburgh, The Refuge Box, and – with electronic composer Peter Zinovieff – Horse and Edge. Her most recent poetry collection is Two Countries (Bloodaxe, 2014).
Geoff Sample was brought up in Northumberland and the Scottish Highlands, where his early ambition was to be a naturalist and live like Gavin Maxwell. After being sidetracked into an education in Classics and a sojourn as guitarist and music producer, he wove the threads together to study and record the ancient culture of birdsong and its context in natural soundscapes. He began by publishing his own CDs through Wildsong and has subsequently produced sound guides for HarperCollins, including the best-selling Collins Bird Songs and Calls. He regularly collaborates with contemporary artists, particularly Marcus Coates and Hanna Tuulikki, and produces installations and radio pieces in his own right exploring sound in the open landscape. His recordings find their way into all sorts of unlikely places on music albums, radio, TV and film. But he can still occasionally be heard warbling and fiddling with six-stringed boxes in various venues in Northumberland.
Helen Scales is an author, documentary-maker and oceans expert. Among her BBC Radio documentaries she’s searched for the perfect wave and explored the dream of living underwater; she’s also discussed the scientific wonders of the deep with Robin Ince and Brian Cox on The Infinite Monkey Cage and donated an aquarium tank of pregnant male seahorses to The Museum of Curiosity. Her latest book, the Guardian bestseller Spirals in Time about seashells and molluscs, was a book of the year in The Economist, Nature and The Times, shortlisted for the Royal Society of Biology book award and appeared (narrated by Helen) on Radio 4’s Book of the Week. She teaches marine science at Cambridge University’s Madingley Hall and is scientific advisor for the charity Sea Changers, which supports UK-based marine conservation. Her next book Eye of the Shoal (due out in 2018) follows the trail of fish through the underwater world.
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 endeavourRead More
Steve Waters is a playwright who also writes for television and radio. His plays include Limehouse(Donmar Warehouse, 2017), Temple (Donmar 2015), The Contingency Plan (The Bush Theatre 2009) and the monologue In a Vulnerable Place (2014), all published by Nick Hern Books. His work for radio includes Deep Swimmer (R4, 2016) and Bretton Woods (R3, 2014). Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, his book The Secret Life of Plays is also published by Nick Hern.Read More