Talks Tent at Festival of Nature – Saturday

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Join Festival of Nature for a free, informative and fun afternoon of talks and stories celebrating the world’s most exciting wildlife. Presenters include wildlife celebrities, experts and volunteers from some of the region’s best known and loved organisations. 

All talks are free and work on a first-come, first-served basis so make sure to swing by early to secure your space!

11:00 – 11:15: ‘Plastics in the Ocean’ Phillippa Kearney and Viviane Runa, Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies

We will discuss the problems with plastic pollution in the ocean, the impact on eco-systems, and what people can do to help prevent these problems. We will focus on microbeads, and their use in cosmetics and products we use every day. Examples of current research at The Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies to solve or prevent environmental problems will be presented.

11:30 – 11:45: ‘Butterflies for Beginners’ – Megan Shersby,  BBC Wildlife Magazine

Naturalist Megan Shersby will be introducing the fascinating and beautiful world of butterflies and moths (collectively known as Lepidoptera). This talk will cover the basics of how to identify the commonly seen species, and will touch on how to see some of the rarer ones. She will also be discussing different resources for identification and learning more about butterflies and moths, and what to do when you see one!

This talk is supported by BBC Wildlife Magazine 

12:00 – 12:15: ‘Gaslighting’ & The Starfish Programme – James Hill, Shared Universe Foundation UK

‘Newspaper boy, disc jockey, fork-lift truck driver, door-to-door salesman, stock jobbing, stock broking, corporate finance, construction, the Eiger Project, Warriors, accountancy, estate planning, heritage design, and philanthropy. I’ve looked in a lot of places to find meaning and purpose, but nothing has come close to my involvement with the Shared Universe Project. Rewilding pristine landscapes and making them safe, which is what we do, deals with the twin threats to endangered species of poaching and habitat destruction. Shared Universe provides people the opportunity to get directly involved and witness the difference they make. In the era of ‘alternative facts’  it becomes increasingly difficult to be confident about what to trust. Surely the last redoubt has to be the evidence of your own eyes and experience. Come and hear how you can connect directly to the work we do. You’ll discover why you matter.’

12:30 – 12:45: ‘So what can being a girl in science and adventure look like?’ – Sophie Pavelle

Sophie speaks about what it’s like to be a 23 year old girl in the wonderful world of science, wildlife and adventure – why being an adventurous nature nut is cool and the importance of choosing a career in science at the moment and what opportunities it can offer after education. She’ll chat about her road to becoming a science communicator and her solo 300 mile expedition and the value of pushing yourself and gaining confidence as a young woman in this competitive industry.

13:00 – 13:15: ‘The lazy gardener and the friendly bee’ – Simon Pickering, Ecotricity

Dr Simon Pickering has been an ecologist and environmental campaigner for over 30 years from the Artic to the Antarctic, studying albatross to flamingos and bats to beavers, from tree protestor to elected Green Party councillor. He is currently Principal Ecologist for Ecotricity, where he not only ensures new renewable energy projects do not damage wildlife but is leading on Ecotricity’s bee conservation work with Buglife and Friends of the Earth.

13:30 – 13:45: ‘Linescapes’ – Hugh Warwick

Hugh Warwick is an ecologist and author with a particular passion for hedgehogs. For hedgehogs to thrive, however, they need more than just a couple of fine gardens, and this got him thinking about wider landscape issues – which evolved into his latest book, Linescapes – Remapping and Reconnecting Britain’s Fragmented Wildlife. His work delves deep into the ecosystems we share with nature, and also the human history that has created a landscape so governed by lines. Rob Macfarlane described Linescapes as “a manifesto-adventure-exploration-reflection that manages to be political, passionate, perceptive – and very funny.”

14:00 – 14:45: ‘Catalyst Bootcamp: empowering young women for sustainable futures’ – Traci Lewis, Catalyse Change

Traci Lewis is a founder and director of Catalyse Change CIC, she will be talking about their programme and Green Careers, with an interactive session to explore the different skills and jobs needed to deliver the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals.

Catalyse Change CIC is a Bristol-based social enterprise supporting girls and young women to develop sustainability skills and knowledge for ‘healthy, happy and green’ communities, careers and planet.

15:00 – 15:45 – ‘Life of Trees’ – Jonathan Drori

Jonathan Drori is a Trustee of The Eden Project, an Ambassador for the WWF and was for nine years a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and The Woodland Trust. He is a self-confessed science and technology geek, with a passion for trees and environmental issues. In 2006 he was awarded a CBE.

Jonathan is now releasing his first book, Around the World in 80 Trees, and will be sharing fascinating stories of majestic trees from all over the globe at Bristol Festival of Nature.

16:00 – 16:15: ‘Your Water- A Journey From Source to Tap’ – Robert Luckwell and Hayley Bellringer, Bristol Water

Water is something we all take for granted. We have clean water on demand, anytime of day, and can use as much as we need. But where does our water come from? And how is it ‘made’? In this fast-paced and interactive presentation we will go on a journey from the source of the largest supply of water to Bristol and will explore the most important processes needed to make it clean and wholesome. Treating water requires lots energy and chemicals, and there are environmental implications for having good quality water delivered straight to our taps. We will end our journey by discussing ways in which we can be more environmentally conscious and reduce the amount we use.

16:30 – 16:45: ‘Naturalists Do It In The Field – Plus Three Other Reasons Why You Should Become a Naturalist with the BNS’ – Bristol Naturalists Society

Three speakers:  Alex Morss (Ecologist), Steve Nicholls (Film Maker) and Richard Bland (Citizen Science) will give insights into their work and will explain why becoming a knowledgeable naturalist is the most important thing you can do for the survival and protection of the Natural World.


17:00 – 17:15: ‘Operation Earth: engaging families with environmental science’ – Andy McLeod, The Association of Science and Discovery Centre

Operation Earth is a national programme currently engaging family audiences around the UK with hands-on activities and an interactive science show. The programme is funded by NERC, the Natural Environment Research Council. Join Andy McLeod, who runs the programme from the ASDC office here in Bristol to find out more about what Operation Earth is doing for the way in which Science Centres engage their audiences with environmental science.

17:30 -17:45 – ‘Giving Nature a Home’ – James Adams, RSPB

The RSPB is no longer just a “bird charity”.  We’ve grown to represent over 1.2 million members and we’ve become the largest wildlife conservation charity in Europe with over 16,000 wild species found across our nature reserves.  All around the UK, overseas and even close to Bristol we’re busy showing the public how nature can make a comeback if we repair and look after our natural environments.  If you’ve not been out to see rspb wild places before James will be talking you through what’s out there and how you can see some incredible wildlife conservation projects at work near you