Healthy Soils, Water and Wildlife are Essential

  |  Published: Aug 28th 2015

Healthy soils, water and wildlife are essential for a sustainable future: we must plan for humans to coexist with nature.

At a time when land in the Thames Valley is under increasing pressure from developments and new infrastructure, the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust’s annual conference in Oxford on 19 September is all about Living with Wildlife.

Estelle Bailey, the Trust’s chief executive explains why this controversial topic is being discussed. “We are living in the ‘anthropocene’ epoch when everything we humans do impacts on the health and sustainability of soils, water, the air we breathe and the planet’s oceans.

“Switching on a computer, driving cars, building houses and digging out the planet’s resources (many of them now lost forever), threatens the future of the natural environment, which we all rely on for our food and wellbeing. That’s why it’s so important that we plan for ways in which people can live and work with nature.”

The Trust’s annual conference will be held on Saturday 19 September in the John Henry Brookes Building at Oxford Brookes University. Booking details on

Estelle Bailey continues: “We need good business leaders who understand that the long term future of their companies depends on improving the ways in which they relate to the natural world. We also need to encourage younger people to lead the way when it comes to looking after our natural environments. Our conference speakers will certainly throw out a few challenges.”

  • Prof Chris Baines works alongside local authorities, government and developers to build in nature to benefit people and the whole ecosystems services of managing land for flood protection, cleaner air, and improving people’s health. Chris designed and created the first wildlife garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 1985, pioneering new ways of bringing nature onto our doorsteps and into everyone’s lives.
  • Martin Ballard champions biodiversity among the hard-hats in the construction and utilities sector under the banner: Big Biodiversity Challenge. This is a web-based opportunity for companies to show what they’re doing for wildlife while they build offices, homes, roads and railways. With many years of experience in the water industry, Martin is passionate about the importance of looking after this scarce resource.
  • Lucy McRobert is a wildlife campaigner with young people. We need to encourage younger people to lead the way when it comes to looking after our natural environments. Lucy will challenge us to create a vision today for wildlife in 35 years’ time. This will be achieved through the energetic combination of enthusiasm and innovative ideas from young people working and learning with experienced ecologists and conservation volunteers.

If Living with Wildlife is important for you, please come along to the conference on 19 September. Visit for more information.

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