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Earth Optimism Day

Earth Optimism Solutions Fair
Saturday 22nd April 2017

The Environment and the Arts

Third Floor, David Attenborough Building

 Download Programme here

Creative Nature Writing Workshop

This workshop, run by Derek Niemann , will introduce you to nature creative writing focusing on prose.Derek is a freelance writer and editor specialising in natural history. His third non-fiction book A Tale of Trees: The battle to save Britain’s ancient woodland was published in October 2016 (Short Books). One of Derek’s previous titles was Birds in a Cage (Short Books, 2011), a true story about Prisoner of War birdwatchers in World War II.  A country diary columnist for the Guardian, Derek also writes for BBC Wildlife and is editor of a magazine for wood owners. Formerly he was children’s magazines editor for the RSPB (1998-2014) and wrote a number of books for children.

This is a one hour workshop and will start at 2pm

Please Register

Bird Therapy Talk

Joe Harkness talks about the mental and physical health benefits of birding, and the benefits of which are now supported by scientific research.

Bird Therapy is one thing yet also many other things. It began as a writing project and has grown into a venture that will use bird-watching in a practical way to help people.

The urge to get out in the field and go birding is not just force of habit – instinctively birders know that watching birds and being outdoors in the countryside makes us feel good.

Talks are at 12pm and 3pm and will be 30 minutes long, in Room 3.41

Please Register 

Enchanted with nature: why optimism works - Talk by Rogelio Luque-Lora

Much of current conservation is characterised by a sense of 'doom and gloom', for example estimates of extinction rates or climate change predictions. However, there is evidence that environmental messages that use (and over-use) these negative effects, far from spurring the public into action, often have the opposite effect. The overloading of distress and anxiety can result in psychological processes ultimately leading people into inaction. This is why we need tales of beauty, optimism and enchantment in conservation. In this talk Rogelio Luque-Lora will explore the role of re-enchantment with nature in breaking the paralysis that results from pessimism, and ask whether more 'enchanting' representations of the natural world are able to motivate and encourage us to protect the natural world. 

This talk will run at 12.30pm and 4pm for 30 minutes in Room 3.41

Please register

Storytelling from Rachel O’Leary

Telling stories is a way of playing together: the audience, the teller, and those who passed the stories down to us from long ago. Together we create something new every time; we see the narrative unfolding in the air between us, meet the characters and live in their skins for a while, travel far and return home with our pockets stuffed with treasure. Rachel highlights the beauty and fragility of wildlife and planet and our need to work together as fellow creatures in the face of conservation issues.

Sessions will run at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm in the Library

Human Library

Visit the Leventis Library on the 3rd floor and select a human book – topics available range from biology to biography.  The human books will be available to answer any questions on their subject area between 12.15pm and 1.15pm.

Poetry Readings

Listen out! There will be random poetry readings on the 3rd floor throughout the day – listen for the bell and hear nature poems being read out loud – and if you wish, raise a discussion to follow or simply enjoy the words!

 floor plan



We are one of CCI's ten conservation partners based in Cambridge, UK.

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About Us

UCCRI is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre, with a network of over 150 researchers from all 6 Schools of the University of Cambridge. The Institute supports multidisciplinary research on biodiversity conservation and the social context within which humans engage with nature. It works from a base in the David Attenborough Building, which is designed to enhance collaboration and the sharing of perspectives across organisational and disciplinary boundaries. Find out more...

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