In this episode, I am delighted to welcome Chantelle Lindsay and Sam Bentley-Toon. Chantelle and Sam are environmental professionals who worked together on London Wildlife Trust’s Great North Wood project. You can also listen via these podcast providers:
Chantelle and Sam share their experiences of protecting and managing south London’s ancient woodlands. They talk about their passion for volunteering and some of the challenges that woodland conservation in London involves.
We also discuss rewilding in a London context and whether beavers could possibly be returning to London.
Since recording this podcast, Sam has moved on to work on London’s rivers and Chantelle has become a minor-celebrity with her brilliant appearances on Blue Peter and a Great North Wood-focused segment on BBC’s Springwatch.
People like Sam and Chantelle are lesser known in the conservation world, but they are having big impacts at…
Julian has published two books of non-fiction with a strong focus on landscapes, wildlife and heritage. In 2012 Julian’s debut book The Small Heart of Things was published, and in 2019 it was followed by Irreplaceable: The Fight to Save Our Wild Places.
We pick up right where we left off in episode one, with a question to Julian about his experiences of getting to know local people and telling their stories through his writing.
We get into some pretty deep topics in this episode including:
How the mathematics of life mean you can only connect with a handful of places in a meaningful way
The poverty of language around ‘brownfields’
Convincing politicians to pretend they’re jumping spiders!
Life-altering experiences in the North Kent Marshes
Oliver Rackham and the loss of meaning in the landscape
The importance of local green spaces in the pandemic and beyond
Massive thank you to Julian for his time and consideration in putting these two episodes together. Please support Julian by purchasing his book and following him on social media. Hope you enjoy!
This is part one of two episodes with author Julian Hoffman. This episode focuses on Julian’s life in northern Greece where he encounters European brown bears in his day to day life. We also discuss the local accents of wrens(!), particularly Liverpudlian wrens.
Julian has published two books. In 2012 The Small Heart of Things was published and in 2019 it was followed by Irreplaceable: The Fight to Save Our Wild Places.
I’m a big fan of both of these books. Julian does that rare thing for a nature writer and centres communities within the landscape. Irreplaceable is a great example of this, with Julian writing about local people the world over battling to save special places, habitats and species.
Irreplaceable was the Highly Commended Finalist for the 2020 Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation.
Julian details how he came to live in Prespa, how he became a writer there after working with his wife as a market gardener, toiling away in the open fields growing fruit and vegetables, and getting to know the locals.
Thanks so much for bearing with us and I hope you enjoy the episode.
Here is the audio slideshow with footage now included!
Please subscribe to the Unlocking Landscapes YouTube here.
You can tell from the podcast that this latest English lockdown has affected my lung capacity, I’m a bit breathy at times! There’s only so much editing you can do though. One to remember for future episodes.
Anyway, the areas of interest in this episode are:
Woodland streams, known in this area as ‘gills’
Heathlands and plantations
Sphagnum moss bogs
Ancient and veteran trees, especially beech (Fagus sylvatica)
I’d love to know what you think of this episode and if you’d like to hear more in future. You can comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much for listening and I hope you enjoy.
I’m pleased to publish episode 2 of the Unlocking Landscapes podcast. My guest this month is Raki Nikahetiya:
Raki lives in New Delhi and practices ‘interdisciplinary photography’. His photographic work focuses on documentary, landscape, wildlife and other digital art forms. He is currently working on a project with the University of Barcelona on the subject of… cave paintings and petri dishes!
Raki talks about life in India where agrarian protests are raging and people are coming to terms with the Covid-19 pandemic. He also describes his upbringing in rural Sri Lanka and how that has inspired his work as a photographer and a community conservationist working with indigenous communities in Sri Lanka and Mozambique.
In the YouTube version of the podcast you can enjoy some of Raki’s photographs alongside the audio:
You can follow Raki’s work through the links below:
Raki is a wonderful guy and I really enjoyed speaking to him. Thanks to everyone who has listened, subscribed and provided feedback on the podcast so far. It’s a real pleasure to record the episodes but the preparation and post-production is a lot to fit in alongside a full-time job! Hoping that things will settle a bit now as things get up and running.
You can now listen to the Unlocking Landscapes podcast’s introductory episode. This short intro outlines what to expect from the podcast.
Episode 1 was recorded on Friday 29th January 2021 and should be available on Monday 8th February. The first episode is a conversation with writer and editor Chris Schuler on the subject of London’s historic Great North Wood and his upcoming book, The Wood that Built London.
The podcast is now available on Apple, Google and Spotify so please subscribe!
I’m delighted to launch the Unlocking Landscapes podcast. The aim of the pod is to promote conversations about human relationships with the landscape. Those relationships include people who work and volunteer in/on the landscape, photographers, artists, writers, scientists, community organisers and more.
Access to the land is an issue of great importance and I hope we can uncover some interesting perspectives in this first series.
The first series of the pod will launch in February 2021 with the aim of one episode each month through the year.
I can’t wait to share some of the stories people have to tell about their relationships with landscape. There will be a mix of focus: history, ecology, community, agriculture, art and literature. There will be a strong UK and European element, but with stories from as far away as India.
The need for a diverse range of voices is important and that will drive the pod in its early stages.
The pod will be available here via SoundCloud to start with as well as Podbean. Over time I hope to get it accepted onto all the other platforms that will take it.