We have collaborated with Miles King since 2015. Miles has worked in UK nature conservation for over 30 years and says on his blog “I now realise I know less than I thought I did when I started. Perhaps I know more now about which are the right questions to ask.”
Miles is a conservation ecologist with specialist knowledge of grassland and agricultural habitats. He is particularly interested in the relationship between nature and people and founded the charity People Need Nature (PNN) to explore the ways in which people connect with nature and to raise awareness of the countless benefits we get from it. There are some obviously valuable benefits that support human survival such as food, clean air and drinking water and the absorption of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. There are also equally important benefits to be gained from connecting with a nature-rich environment for people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, that go beyond monetary value. PNN advocates a different approach to the way that nature is regarded and valued in the public realm:
“We believe it is important to recognise and highlight other reasons why people care about nature, not just for its economic value, but for fundamental, personal reasons. Nature feeds our souls, provides inspiration, joy, peace, contemplation and solace. People have an instinctual, visceral and spiritual need for nature.”
PNN works with diverse groups and communities to explore how nature is changing and the impacts of that change – collaborating with other scientists, writers and artists of all kinds, as well as religious groups or people who feel a spiritual connection to nature outside of organised religion. Together they are exploring effective ways of communicating the true value of nature and inspiring action to protect it.
When he began setting up the charity Miles asked whether we might help create a PNN logo. This we did by launching a competition, asking design students at our local college to submit ideas. Alison Reed came up with the winning idea and worked with Jane King to turn it into the PNN logo.
PNN has created some inspirational projects such as ‘Ways to be Wilder” a poetry competition in collaboration with the Poetry Society Young Poets Network and an incredibly beautiful “Meadow Soundscape” in collaboration with sound artist Matthew Shaw, created to celebrate National Meadows Day 2017. Play it and contemplate a world in which sounds like these can no longer be heard. If you are interested in keeping track of news and views on nature and politics as well as politics and ethics, follow Miles on his epic blog, a new nature blog, and on twitter – @milesking10
We collaborated with PNN on a project to “Reimagine Lost Landscapes” at Lodge Hill on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent. Jane King and Matthew Shaw were part of a group of artists and writers invited to accompany Miles on a field trip to explore how this uniquely beautiful place has been conserved by it’s unlikely custodians, the MOD, and to assess how people might value it now that it’s no longer used for storing and testing ordnance, and what the impact might be of it’s loss.
View our portfolio post on Reimagining Lost Landscapes ….