Let nature feed your senses Conference
Dr William Bird
Dr William Bird is the strategic health advisor for Natural England leading the health programme to develop the natural environment as a major health resource. He chairs the Outdoor Health Forum that unites all major UK environment organisations to influence health professionals to use the natural environment for prevention and treatment.
While as a GP in South Oxfordshire he set up Health Walks and the Green Gym in the late 1990s which are now throughout the UK using the natural environment to increase physical activity and wellbeing. He still works half time as a GP in Reading. He has published several papers related to physical activity and co-authored a book, Walking for Health and published two reports, "Natural Fit" and "Natural Thinking" that have reviewed the evidence linking the natural environment with physical activity and mental health respectively.
He founded the company Intelligent Health, getting more people active outdoors. He has recently become the Clinical Director of the Environment and Human Health Unit at the Peninsular Medical School.
Mercedes Kemp was born and grew up in Southern Spain. For the past thirty years she has lived in West Cornwall. She is a core artistic member of WILDWORKS www.wildworks.biz
As well as the production of text and story line, her role within WILDWORKS involves creating and maintaining relationships with host communities and exploring their relationships with place and memory.
Her method involves a kind of eclectic ethnographic research into a variety of sources: archives, libraries, cemeteries, village halls, bus stops, local historians, town gossips, snapshots, old photographs, conversations, and, above all, a close observation of the process of memory and its effect on the value that people place on their environments.
Philip Waters spent a great deal of his childhood being covered in dirt, stung by insects, scratched by plants, and battered by pretty much everything nature had to throw at him. As well as writing, making films and embarking on research projects, Phil coordinates programmes of work at the Eden Project about connecting children to nature through play. www.edenproject.com/mbyt/index.php
Phil believes that both ‘play’ and ‘nature’ are two ecological contexts that help sustain healthy human beings, and that to be living in a society where both have been eroded from many children’s lived experiences is both shocking and worrying. His work and life is about addressing this issue.
Karina Thompson has 13 years experience leading arts based projects with the community. These projects have been in locations as diverse as tents, woods, remand centres or isolation wards and with participants ranging from teenage cancer patients, people with mental health problems, young offenders and women or family groups.
Sometimes she works with people on a casual drop in basis whilst at other times she has worked on longer term residencies to build deeper relationships within communities. A number of the projects she has led have won prestigious regional and national awards.
Karina says “I have a strong commitment to the power of creative learning to develop skills and attitudes in people. I am particularly interested in using art as a means to examine the world around us and gain understanding in the process.”
Zoe runs two companies, Diablo and Ruby Associates. She has an interest in inclusive design, architecture and urban design. She is a conceptual artist with a specialist interest in the built environment internally and externally.
She is one of the first CABE (Commission for the Built Environment) space scholars researching the application of new technology in creative inclusive urban space. Zoe is a Trustee of Craftspace and is passionate about contemporary crafts.
She was recently awarded a grant by art agencies Dada-South and Artpoint to take her work into the public realm ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. "My work is about how I, as a disabled artist, can use technology to embrace design and creative change", she said. Zoe aims to use shopping centres to project viscerally-powerful audio and visual representations of journeys made through public spaces by disabled people.
Grounded in the reality of life on a working farm in Norfolk, Susie Emmett is a multimedia enthusiast for good communications.
Currently working with Let nature feed your senses to create audio bursts of words and sounds that capture and share fascinating aspects of farming for food alongside nature, she is spending time with host farmers and their visitors in different parts of England.
Her work as reporter, broadcaster and communications trainer has taken her all over the world. As a director of Green Shoots Productions she helps a wide range of clients with the sights, sounds strategies and stories to inform, inspire and influence their target audiences.