Rest and reconnection

28th August 2020

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Áine Monaghan

A very warm welcome to this September edition of Transform magazine.

I hope you managed to get some rest and relaxation over the summer, whether at home or perhaps enjoying some of the great locations the UK has to offer. It's sometimes easy to forget the astonishingly beautiful countryside we have close to home, and I have been enjoying getting out with the family to walk along the Thames and enjoy the stunning South Downs. As a former member of the National Parks Review panel, I am very much hoping that this summer will have helped connect – or reconnect – many of us with the open spaces on our own doorsteps.

Those of you who have had a bucket-and-spade holiday somewhere along the British coastline may have come across the handy guide to British marine life on the Wildlife Trusts website. The Trusts, collectively, have around 850,000 members who are passionate about nature. Their new CEO, Craig Bennett, has had a similar journey to me during the past few months in that he has moved to lead a new organisation from his computer screen, rather than the office. In his interview (p12), he speaks about his new role, the challenges for habitats in the UK, and working collectively to protect these uniquely beautiful spaces.

“I am hoping that this summer will have helped reconnect many of us with the open spaces on our own doorsteps“

Another remarkable change in our collective thinking has been the Black Lives Matter movement, and the awareness that unconscious bias has been a real block to increased diversity in the environment and sustainability sectors. I am all too aware, as a person of mixed heritage, that these sectors are not diverse, and I was delighted that those members who helped with our thinking on Build Back Better agreed that we need to address this honestly and urgently. I am sure that you will find Kye Gbangbola's article (p16) as thought provoking as I did.

Earlier this year, I was privileged to chair the 'in conversation' element of a presentation with the 'godfather of sustainability', John Elkington. He was, as always, inspirational, and challenged us to think beyond the current pandemic to a more sustainable future. He speaks to Transform about COVID-19, global trade and Greta Thunberg (p24).

Have a great – and sustainable – month.


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