top of page
header 1.jpg

“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart...“  

JANE AUSTEN

Working for wildlife

and wild places

As a nature writer and visual storyteller, I share stories to help deepen our awareness and understanding of the dynamic living world and our ever changing place in it, so that we can reimagine a way of being that is more gentle and considerate of nature.

Through my work, I curate awareness displays and exhibitions, as well as projects that focus on conceptual artworks within a broader environmental narrative. Over the years, I have worked in partnership with organisations including WWF, IFAW, The WILD Foundation, The Humane Society, SANParks, and the SA National Biodiversity Institute.

Having taken a course in creative design in London in the early 90’s, I now create my own materials, and this writing / design / photography combination forms the basis of my work.

belinda-ashton1.jpg

I have worked on numerous books and scientific publications, and I so enjoy the conceptual and design components behind creating a unique and special book – please be in touch if you would like to chat about working together.

elephant.jpg
With Pippa Parker.jpg

At the launch of our field guide with our publisher Pippa Parker (centre) from Penguin Random House.

A review of Watching Whales and Dolphin

Dr Ian Player.png

It was through Laurens van der Post that I was introduced to the works of Jung. Laurens would have loved this book because it has the right feel.

DR IAN PLAYER

A deep interest in wildlife and wild habitats has been the foundation of my professional life. Since 2003, I have run the Oceans of Africa programme and the Wild Neighbours initiative. Project milestones have included our global Sacred Ocean Campaign with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mapungubwe Revisited in partnership with WWF in support of their rhino conservation work.

I so appreciated the opportunity to share my interest in nature when my Reconnecting with Nature displays were installed in the nine National Botanical Gardens of South Africa. With their compelling narratives and imagery, the displays offer a chance to deepen one's experience whilst adventuring outdoors in nature.

Since my childhood, I have been deeply interested in wilderness and the spiritual dimensions of a true wilderness experience. I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Vance G. Martin of the The WILD Foundation in the US, creating the Wilderness Visionaries display, which was launched at the WILD9 World Wilderness Congress in Merida, Mexico. I also had the privilege of working with Dr Ian Player, who founded the wilderness movement in southern Africa, and I was so grateful when he wrote the foreword to my book Connecting with Wilderness.

Words, poems, and writing about nature are my life passions. Over the years, I have written articles for diverse publications, including Africa Geographic and Cape etc, and my journal, Cape Envirolink, which was sponsored by The Table Mountain Fund, won a Green Trust award for environmental journalism.

I grew up amongst the beautiful fynbos mountains of the Cape and have always lived on the urban edge, where nature has been my lifelong inspiration. In more recent years, I have been drawn back to England and now live in the Cotswolds.

Having grown up in a home where my parents have a great love for classical music, I too fill my life with music and the soft touch of poems and written words. Listening to Maria João Pires playing Mozart, Irina Lankova playing Schubert’s Impromptu, or Daniel Barenboim’s soulful interpretation of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and working with Irish composer John Field’s Nocturnes playing quietly in the background are, for me, one of life’s true pleasures.

My path has taken me on journeys to Kenya and Tanzania, as well as the Kalahari desert and long trips into the Cederberg mountains to study ancient rock art sites. These experiences deepened my understanding of intuitive connections to the land, and this awareness is carried with me whenever I venture into wild landscapes.

belinda-ashton1heart.jpg

Peace is a practice not a hope

Over time, and having worked within many nature awareness initiatives, I have learned that it is through our emotional bonding with the land that we develop an ethos of care and compassion for the natural world, at a time when so much of all that is wild and free is being lost, perhaps forever.

bottom of page