Wild in the City Festival Programme

Here’s an overview of our programme so far…
– James Dawkins – Legacy of slavery and land ownership
Guy Shrubsole – Who Owns England?
– Film: The UK in 100 Seconds
– Film: The Ancient Astronomers of Timbuktu
with foraging, wildlife id, hiking, bush craft, meditation, well being
– Maxwell Gomera – UN Diversity Priorities
– Prof. Yadvinder Malhi – Forest Ecosystems and Climate Change
-Tracy Commock – Director, Natural History Museum of Jamaica
with foraging, wildlife id, hiking, bush craft, meditation, well being
– Mike Lewis – Medu Netru, Ancient Egyptian Language of Nature
– Dwayne Fields – Polar Exploration
– Jasmine Kamal Pasha – Urban Nature Photography
– Beth Collier – Nature Allied Psychotherapy
– Claire Ratinon – Organic Growing
– Abigail Holsborough – Brixton Windmill
with foraging, wildlife id, hiking, bush craft, meditation, well being
Programme may be subject to changes. 
Our Keynote Speakers:

Beth Collier, Nature based Psychotherapist/Anthropologist

Beth grew up in the countryside and now enjoys helping people feel at home in nature. She is a Nature-based Psychotherapist & Anthropologist who teaches woodland living skills and natural history. She is the founder of Wild in the City and Nature Therapy School.

In her work Beth supports people of colour in finding their place in UK natural settings and creates opportunities for the representation of black and Asian leadership within nature. As a researcher and social theorist she has produced ethnography of our intimate, emotional relationships with nature. This includes ethnography of disconnection and it’s impact on the development of cultural attitudes which shun nature; experiences of people of colour in nature in UK settings, and white attitudes to black presence in nature.

Featured in BBC’s Nature’s New Wild, she has been a pioneer of taking psychotherapy outside of the therapy room, working in allegiance with nature to explore our emotional worlds. She has developed and theorised Nature Allied Psychotherapy as an orientation of practice. Her book, Nature Allied Psychotherapy; Exploring Relationships with Self, Others and Nature will be published by Routledge in 2020.


Dwayne Fields, Explorer

Breaking the norm, breaking expectations – Inspiring others to explore a life outdoors.

Best known for being the first black Briton to walk to the North Pole, Dwayne is also a former Club Scout and an advocate of the power of Scouting to help young people develop skills for life. Born in Jamaica, Dwayne arrived in London at age six.

He grew up in North and East London and was a victim of knife and gun crime, narrowly escaping a street shooting before deciding to forge a new path in life. He went on to complete a combined degree in Psychology, International Development and Business Management and spent three years as an apprentice electrical mechanical engineer for London underground before following his passion for the outdoors and raising funds to reach the North pole as well as many other challenges and great causes.

He hopes he can use his position to encourage more inner city young people to get out into nature. Dwayne now plans to push himself even further with an Antarctic crossing planned in 2019.


Jasmine Kamal Pasha, Photographer

Artist and photographer, Jasmine Kamal-Pasha, is inspired by nature and wildlife. The coexistence of man and nature is a topic of great breadth and depth, and it is the adaptation of wild animals to the man-made environment that she finds fascinating. In her own words, Jasmine explains, “The dispute between those who believe urban wildlife are a nuisance and those who believe they are a pleasure, is intriguing, as are the consequences that come with wildlife’s attempt to adapt.” With a background in fine art, Jasmine often creates conceptual photography, encapsulating the relationship between humans and the natural world.


Maxwell Gomera, UN Biodiversity Director

Maxwell Gomera is Director of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Branch at UN Environment and a 2018 Fellow of Aspen New Voices. He is an expert on public investments in agriculture and nature. He has over 15 years of national and international experience in biodiversity, wildlife management and socio-economic development. He has extensive experience with natural resource management institutions in Africa, having worked in various capacities within the Southern African Development Community region and in Zimbabwe. He also served as part of the UN Environment team which, in response to the multiple global crises of 2008 (fuel, food and financial) commissioned and produced a document “Global Green New Deal”, elements of which influenced significant investments in more sustainable industries such as renewable energy within the G20 and more broadly.

 Prof. Yadvinder Malhi, Ecosystem Scientist 

Prof. Yadvinder Mahli is an ecosystem scientist who explores the functioning of the biosphere and its interactions with global change, including climate change. He will be giving a talk on Forest Ecosystems and the Anthropocene.

“I am a Professor of Ecosystem Science at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford.”

“I have a particular fascination with and love for tropical forests. 

The broad scope of my research interests is the impact of global atmospheric change on the ecology, structure and composition of terrestrial ecosystems, and in particular temperate and tropical forests. This research addresses fundamental questions about ecosystem function, diversity and dynamics, whilst at the same time providing outputs of direct relevance for conservation and adaptation to climate change. I apply a range of techniques including field physiological studies, intensive and long-term ecological monitoring, satellite remote-sensing and GIS, ecosystem modelling, and micrometeorological techniques. I coordinate an extensive and expanding research programme in Asia, Africa and particularly across the Amazon and Andes region. I also have an expanding network of research in temperate woodlands in the Upper Thames region, and the old growth temperate forests of Chile. I was co-founder of the Amazon Forest Inventory Network (RAINFOR) which has resulted in over 50 publications. “


Guy Shrubsole, Activist and Writer

Guy Shrubsole is currently a campaigner at Friends of the Earth, and has worked for DEFRA, New Zealand’s Ministry of Agriculture and UK think thank Public Interest Research Centre in the past. He is also the author of ‘Who Owns England’. Guy will be giving a talk on open access and land ownership in the UK

“I’m a campaigner at Friends of the Earth and author of Who Owns England?, which reveals that 1% of the population own half the land in England. 

At FOE, I’m campaigning to double UK tree cover to help fight climate breakdown, particularly through ‘greening the Green Belt’ and reconnecting people to nature. We want to help grassroots groups access land for creating new community woodlands – whether through persuading their local council to make better use of public land, or pressuring large private landowners.

Outside of FOE, I’m trying to get the government to support County Farms (which are a vital way for first-time farmers to get into farming), and pushing for a full Right to Roam across our countryside. Almost ninety years after the Kinder Scout Trespass, we only have open access to 10% of England & Wales.”

Tracy Commock, Director of Natural History Museum of Jamaica

Tracy is a Botanist and Phd candidate, with a passion for sharing appreciation for plants and the natural environment. Working in the Natural History Museum of Jamaica has allowed her the opportunity to build awareness of Jamaican natural heritage and the need to protect and conserve our biodiversity.


Claire Ratinon, Organic Grower

Claire is an organic grower based in Hackney.  She has worked in a range of roles from growing salad on a small organic site for Growing Communities to delivering growing workshops throughout London to audiences including East London primary schools, community centres and for corporate clients. She is passionate about the act of growing plants – especially edible ones – and the potential for this to be nourishing, connecting and healing.

She has been invited to share her growing journey and experiences in talks for organisations including The Garden Museum, the Royal College of Art and Abergavenny Food Festival. She recently presented two features on Radio 4’s Gardeners Question Time about growing edible plants in small spaces and about befriending the weeds in our garden.

Mike Lewis, on Ancient Egyptian Culture

Mike will be running workshops in ancient Egyptian physical culture, Sesh, and ancient Egyptian philosophy explaining the symbolism of Medu Netru (hieroglyphs), a language rooted in nature.

Sesh is a branch of Egyptian physical culture concerned with stretching and breathing. Wear loose clothing to participate in this session, bring a yoga/sleeping mat if you have one.

“I was born Mike Lewis and studied ancient QEMMET (Egypt) knowledge under Master RAMSES SELEEM for over 18 years. I then graduated as PA-AA-RU which translates to The Great Lion. I have been involved with the health and fitness industry for nearly 40 years. This includes weight training, nutrition and martial arts. My interest in the ancient studies has been focused on the natural health and well-being practices of those days and the spiritual practices and how they can be used practically in a modern society and also to pass on this knowledge to a new generation of health, fitness and well-being practitioners.”

Have you got your tickets yet? You can get them here!