Kate on Conservation

Interviews

It’s so important as a wildlife blogger, in the field of conservation to share our message. Not just with those already connected to nature and the issues faced by our local and global wild species, but also those who may encounter wildlife in a different context. Here are a selection of interviews I’ve recently given to various blogs and websites…

Common by Nature — Spotlight

It was an honour to be interviewed by James Common of Common by Nature blog and recognised as a member of the youth nature movement. Similarly to Kate on ConservationCommon by Nature has been Highly Commended at the UK Blog Awards under the Green & Eco category, and was also listed in the 75 Top Wildlife Blogs!

common by nature interview with kate on conservation

In James’ own words; “the youth nature spotlight series is intended to give readers an insight into the lives, aspirations and motivations of the intrepid and inspirational young people doing great things for nature in the UK”, so I was very excited to get involved.

I’ve included a small snippet of the interview below, as a little taster:

How did you first get involved in your conservation campaigning?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in animals. This interest was developed into a more active conservation role when I became a supporter of the Born Free Foundation. At six years old I received a gift of an adoption pack for Born Free’s for Roque the tiger and I’ve wanted to save animals ever since then. 21 years later I am now a trustee of the Born Free Foundation charity and the subsequent passion I fostered for wildlife photography and conservation writing (which can be traced back to a 200-page big cat project I hand wrote when I was 10 and 11 years old), has evolved into my career at National Geographic Kids magazine and my Kate On Conservation blog.

If you won the lottery today, what would you spend the money on?

I would buy a big plot of land in the UK and work on rewilding it. Bringing back native flora and fauna and hopefully watching it flourish – and I’d buy an allotment for growing seasonal fruit and veg. I would then start up an education programme, offering opportunities to people from all walks of life to work on these projects and learn about the UK’s natural environment and sustainable food consumption. Hopefully, it would start a movement.

Read the full interview here.

Every Treasure blog — Blogger Showcase

I also had the pleasure of chatting to parent blogger and fellow UK Blog Awards finalist, Every Treasure. I saw it as a brilliant opportunity to talk to others who appreciate the outdoors and enjoy family hiking trips (subjects regularly covered on Every Treasure) about the wildlife they encounter — and equally, some more exotic species — about why it is important to take notice of our impact on the planet.

Every treasure interview with Kate on Conservation

It was great to have the opportunity to answer the interesting questions that blogger Kelly had picked out to ask. I’ve included a couple of these below, to give a snapshot of the interview:

Can you tell me a little bit about the focus/vision/ethos behind your blog?

I wanted to change the world. Maybe one person at a time, by sharing important knowledge about our planet’s wildlife and the threats it’s facing. I was 21-years old when I started the blog and originally it was to be a voice among young people and students, to inspire them to care about these things. I wanted to speak as a peer, so they wouldn’t feel patronised and I was specifically using my gap year experience of volunteering in South Africa with Born Free to inform the blog. But I’m not that young anymore and thanks to television series like Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II, I think students care more than ever. So now I try to reach all people of all ages through various means. And I still want to change the world.

What keeps you motivated in everyday life and in the blogging world?

The desperate plight of so many of our planet’s wild species. When you hear that there are less than 20,000 lions left in the wild in Africa; that if things remain as they are, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050; and when in 2018 we all lost the last ever male Northern White Rhino in existence — it’s enough to motivate me to spend the rest of my life trying to make a difference.

A couple of years ago when I was employed by Discovery, I worked on UK school resources to accompany the amazing documentary Racing Extinction. Researching the facts and watching that documentary was the reason I stopped eating meat and consuming dairy products. That documentary is something I return to when I’m in need of a little motivation. It’s shocking and so important!

Read the full interview here.

 

Gorilla Socks — blog interview

I absolutely love Gorilla Socks! Their mission is to combine a sense of responsibility to support our planetdisadvantaged communities and the gorilla species with a love for colourful socks. Inspired by Dian Fossey’s remarkable life and legacy, they have pledged to donate to the charity at least 10% from the sale of each pair of socks. I was delighted to feature on their blog.

 

What sparked your interest in conservation? 

I loved animals, even as young child. I think from a combination of watching Disney’s The Lion King over and over and reading lots of books and encyclopaedias about wildlife. The first time I realized that wildlife needed our help was when I was about 6 years old. My mum adopted a tiger for me through Born Free Foundation and I started reading about the threats that tigers faced in the wild. I’d say that’s where my passion for conservation started.

 

Are there any individuals who have had the greatest impact on your values and beliefs on animal rights? 

My first wildlife hero was Virginia McKenna — her stirring speech in the film Born Free about Elsa the lioness being ‘born free, so she should live free’ resonated with me even as a kid. Later I would be obsessed with watching David Attenborough and Steve Irwin on television. As I began to understand more about the natural world as a teenager and in my early twenties it was Will Travers, Ian Redmond, Jane Goodall and the incredible wildlife artist Pollyanna Pickering who most captured my imagination and cemented my ethics.

 

Congratulations on becoming the youngest Trustee of Born Free Foundation! Tell us more about what your work with the organisation. 

Thanks. I’ve been a trustee for just over a year now, and it’s still very much a learning curve for me. Of course, the Board have a hand in making or approving many of the decisions when it comes to financial and legal issues, but we’ve also been busy shaping the charity’s 5-year plan and devising the organisation’s main priorities. I’ve supported Born Free for many years, and it’s a great reassurance to see how things work behind the scenes. I’m proud to be involved with such a genuine, passionate and dedicated organisation, whom I know for a fact carry out all they do with the utmost integrity; from rescuing individual animals, to lobbying governments and tackling some of the biggest global issues such as wildlife trade and working on the ground to mediate in cases of human-wildlife conflict.

Read the full interview here.

 

Earth Art India — blog interview

It’s always exciting to hear that my blog has reached overseas, so when Earth Art India contacted me for an interview, I leapt at the chance to have a chat with them!

 

How does it feel to work with National Geographic Kids?
It feels Exciting! Everyday is different and I have the honor of meeting so many conservation heroes and learning about so many incredible projects across the globe!
 
Which is your favorite assignment so far? Can you tell us something about it?
Last year I was fortunate enough to go on a press trip to Florida. It was amazing to discover the work of Mote Marine Labs while I was there and join them on a research vessel to tag spotted eagle rays and on a turtle nesting patrol. I really enjoyed writing about both of those stories!
According to you, what is the biggest threat to wildlife and why?
Definitely, Human greed and ignorance. We really have no need to use animal products such as ivory or rhino horn as status symbols, and there’s a lot of ignorance when it comes to consumerism — whether it is an animal agriculture, palm oil manufacturing, Chinese traditional medicine industry or superstitions.

Read the full interview here.

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