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Join Ethical Reading and Nature Nurture to discover the role trees play in our urban landscape, why we need more of them and how you can help.
Natalie Ganpatsingh and Teresa Verney-Brookes will explore how trees can help us mitigate against the effects of air pollution and climate change and their role in creating more cohesive, healthy and sustainable communities. And Kathryn McCann will talk about how we can all contribute to making our town greener, healthier and happier through Ethical Reading’s Trees for Reading initiative.
Natalie has a background in philosophy and anthropology and is a self-trained artist. She is on a mission to connect urban communities with the nature on their doorstep. She believes that connecting people with the parks, woodlands and waterways within our towns and cities is crucial to building strong, happy, healthy communities who care about each other and the environment.
Her award-winning social enterprise, Nature Nurture CIC collaborates with the conservation, heritage, health and education sectors to achieve positive outcomes for people and the planet.
In 2016 Nature Nurture achieved a Pride of Reading Award and in 2019 they gained the Institute of Outdoor Learning’s Community Development Award.
Her work has taken her to Belize (Expedition Artist, 1998), Ghana (Oxfam Cultural Arts Exchange Project, 2000), Kenya (Mediae Development Education Project, 2008) and Palestine (United Nations ‘Participate’ project, with Real Time Video – participatory video with Palestinian women, 2013).
Natalie is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a trustee of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. She leads on the City of Rivers and Parks theme of Reading 2050 and the Health strand of Reading’s Climate Emergency Strategy. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Teresa is passionate about using her creativity to link people with the nature that is literally on their doorstep, to inspire a new generation of environmental custodians.
She has a background in ecology and has spent over 25 years inspiring children and families about the endless awe and wonder that nature has to offer. To this end she runs Green Trees Education, which specialises in delivering outdoor environmental education and forest school sessions and also providing teacher training and advice on taking learning outside of the classroom. She also works alongside Natalie as part of the Nature Nurture team.
Under her Equity stage name of Professor Queen-Bee she also uses the performing arts as a conduit for conveying complex environmental issues and topics in fun and accessible ways. For example, she has a ‘green’ Punch and Judy routine and also a flea circus, which she uses to highlight the vital role that insects play in our ecosystems. As a founding member of the Disappointing Clown Company Teresa also uses several other comical personas including Professor Smarty-Pants and the Tree Doctor to help people get closer to nature. She has performed at several large festivals, including Glastonbury.
Teresa is also an active environmental campaigner.
Kathryn has been involved with Ethical Reading since before it launched, as a member of the Advisory council and as an active volunteer. As part of the sustainability team, she helps to run the Trees for Reading initiative and co-ordinates the growing network of sustainability champions at local organisations.
She is an experienced freelance marketing copywriter. Trading as Kat Creative, she specialises in helping organisations get their message across in a clear, compelling way that engages their target audiences. She works both through agencies and directly for clients in a wide range of sectors, from architecture to water purification. However her real passion is helping organisations that work to make a positive difference, including charities, social enterprises and green start-ups. She is glad to offer Ethical Reading the benefit of her marketing expertise, including helping with the website and manging the Facebook page.
In normal times she manages Reading Farmers’ Market, which won Best Food Market in The Great British Market Awards 2020. She also co-ordinates Reading Green Drinks and has stood as a candidate for the Green Party in the past three local elections.
Reading Climate Festival is a week long programme of free events to inspire action on climate change, curated by Reading Climate Action Network.