Easter holidays have been a great chance to finally get some real wildtime – a week in the Lakes, starting to look at my upcoming dissertation, then a week of rock climbing in North Wales which incorporated everything form sunny rock to driving rain, wind and fog in the mountains and five happy days in my tent.
So it seemed apt to finish the holidays with a trip to spend two days as a volunteer in nature’s marketing department. The Wild Network is a growing group of people concerned about the loss of access we all (but especially kids) have to the great outdoors and their increasingly disappearing connection to nature.
Feeling freshly invigorated from my time in the mountains and also realising how lucky I am to get these opportunities – It was really inspiring to see nearly 100 people coming together, giving up their time and skills to try to broaden this access and give more people this opportunity. On a personal level it was also great to find myself at perhaps a natural meeting point of my past work in expeditions and outdoor adventure, and my future work in environmental policy – especially given an increasingly growing feeling that giving people a feel for and connection to nature, has a vital role to play in shifting the policy agenda to a more environmental standpoint.
It was also really refreshing to approach challenges with a strict 48 hour deadline – the ideas under discussion had to be discussed, scoped, and if possible pro typed solutions developed all before the doors of Ashton Court Estate slammed shut at 5pm on Saturday!
It was really amazing to see so many ideas develop and really moving forward on the sort of timescale it often takes just to set up an initial meeting on an issue!