Nature-Rich Cities: Keynote: Chris Baines & Nature-Rich Cities: The Value of Urban Nature and Natural Capital

Nature-Rich Cities: Part One: The Value of Urban Nature and Natural Capital

Festival of the Future City


Please note: This event took place in Nov 2015

Do we really need nature in our cities? What are the risks of a nature-poor city? Author and broadcaster Chris Baines sets the scene. Speakers Melissa Harrison (novelist and writer of the Times Nature Notebook), Stephanie Hime (KPMG's natural capital specialist), Tony Juniper (campaigner and author of What Has Nature Ever Done for Us?) and Claire Wansbury (Atkins Global UK Ecology Leadership team) debate the risks of a nature-poor city and the value nature brings to urban areas. Chaired by Bevis Watts, Avon Wildlife Trust.

In association with Avon Wildlife Trust

Speaker biographies:

Chris Baines co-founded the Urban Wildlife Group, now the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country of which he remains a Vice President. An early presenter of Countryfile, he built the first wildlife garden allowed at Chelsea Flower Show in 1985. His books include How to Make a Wildlife Garden and The Wild Side of Town, which won the 1987 UK Conservation Book Prize. He is Honorary President of the Association for Environment Conscious Building and President of the Essex Wildlife Trust.

Melissa Harrison worked in non-fiction publishing for several years before moving into magazines, first as an editor and then on a freelance basis, with clients including Vogue,Time Out,StuffandMixmag. In 2008 she began spending more time on her own writing, and she won the John Muir Trust’s Award for Wild Writing in 2010. Her first novel,Clay, was published by Bloomsbury in January 2013. It was selected as an Amazon Rising Star, won the Portsmouth First Fiction Award, was named by Ali Smith as one of her books of the year and has been put on the HSC curriculum in New South Wales, Australia. Her second novel,At Hawthorn Time, was published in April 2015. She writes forthe FTandThe Times, where she also contributes to their weekly ‘Nature Notebook’ column.

Stephanie Hime is the lead specialist on natural capital for KPMG's UK sustainability services team. The team has operated in the sustainability space for more than 20 years and advised a number of corporate clients, industry associations and NGOs on the risk posed to business through the loss of and dependency on natural capital. Before joining KPMG, she worked as a senior environmental economist and as a senior research associate at the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment based in the University of East Anglia. She holds a PhD in the impacts of tourism on coral reefs from UEA and MScs in Oceanography and Internet technology.

Tony Juniper is a campaigner, writer, sustainability adviser and environmentalist. He presently works as a Special Adviser to the Prince of Wales Charities’ International Sustainability Unit, having previously worked (2008-2010) as a Special Advisor with the Prince’s Rainforests Project. His books includeWhat Has Nature Ever Done For Us?andHow Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change a Planet?

Claire Wansbury is an Associate Director at Atkins Global, as well as a member of their UK Ecology Leadership team. She works on projects from initial feasibility studies to habitat regulation assessments, and on schemes that range from individual sites to multi-national policy reviews. She is particularly interested in ecosystem services, biodiversity offsetting, and the future evolution of the UK protected species system. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.

Bevis Watts is Chief Executive at Avon Wildlife Trust. He is a chartered environmentalist, and was previously Head of Business Banking at Triodos Bank. He was also a founding trustee of a Warwickshire-based conservation charity and has volunteered on three international marine conservation projects.

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