My affinity for the natural world has always been part of what makes me, me. My childhood was full of stomping round moorland and muddy woods in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. I joined in on my first tree planting at the age of 5 . The landscape of the national park was my childhood comfort and my escape.
I’ve always counted myself incredibly lucky to have had access to this environment and a great passion of mine is to share it with others. Getting people engaged with our National Parks is the driving force behind my filmmaking business Kittiwake Productions which I set up during Covid.
I've been involved in the environmental sector as a volunteer for Friends of the Dales for over a decade, and I have a strong interest in local history, heritage and conservation. Early in 2020 I worked for the Capturing the Past project, leading the digital archiving of the Yorkshire Dales Review which can be found here. I read every one of the 150 editions published at that point. To say this was a crash course in Dales environmental history is an understatement.
This gave me the inspiration for the short documentary on sustainable farming which I created through a CNP New Perspectives Bursary in 2022.
A highlight of 2022 was the unexpected opportunity to attend the National Park Societies Annual Conference, hosted by the Snowdonia Society, as a delegate from Friends of the Dales. Listening to people who have been involved in the environmental sector for decades was incredibly informative however it brought into sharp contrast the need for a broader range of people and views, especially from younger voices.
After expressing this to the lovely CEO of Campaign for National Parks I was invited to join their team as an Ambassador.
As an Ambassador I've been able to attend amazing events and get to highlight issues that are close to my heart to top levels of the UK Government.
I had the privalege to attend the All-Party Parlimentary Group Meeting in 2023 where I spoke with DEFRA Under Secretary of State, Trudy Harrison about issues surrounding transport and housing in National Parks.
I was then invited to be a judge for and then speak at the National Park Protectors Awards at Westminster in July 2023.
In 2023 I spoke about issues faced by residents of Dales at the National Park Protectors Awards hosted at the Palace of Westminster. This was such an amazing opportunity and I'm honoured I was able to represent the voices of local people at a national level.