VINE Conference April 2008

The aims of the VINE conference held in April were to bring together nature conservation practitioners, senior executives, managers and volunteers to:

  • Harness our personal inspiration, passion and creativity for the benefit of nature conservation
  • Improve our ability to communicate with others and share our love for nature
  • Explore the management procedures that allow individual inspiration and personal creativity in conservation practice.
  • To explore ways of promoting this dialogue in the future

The VINE Conference Programme

Below is the programme, now with links to resources generated from the event (reports, photos, video, etc) relevant to each programme item. Click through to view the resources, most are in PDF form. If you do not have PDF reading software, you can get the free Adobe Reader here

Conference Programme 2008

Conference Journey

OPTIONAL PRE-RAMBLE: Launch of the 'Ramblin Vine' events:

  • A ramble around local sites to hear and capture what really inspires each of us about the countryside and nature conservation.

Day 1: Setting the scene:

  • Showing how the value of nature is far more than mere Biodiversity
  • Recognising the importance of personal inspiration among those who work in nature conservation
  • Exploring the relationships between human nature and culture and the natural world
  • Developing new ways of communicating the value of the natural world

These ideas will be explored in presentations, workshops and artistic demonstrations

Day 2: Harnessing inspiration and creativity:

  • Understanding successes and failures in relating ethics and values to science in nature conservation
  • Providing creative space in our work
  • Accepting inspiration and wonder as valid evidence for supporting nature conservation
  • Creating opportunities for inspiration in encounters with the natural world

These ideas will be explored in presentations, a debating panel and experiences from the Ramblin' Vine event.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the attached pdf documents are those of the contributers and may not reflect the Views of VINE.


13.00 Minibuses leaving University (for those not going direct to sites)
14.00 - 17.30

Ramblin' Vine event (Optional)

Click to view Ramble briefing document

NB: Some PDF files listed are quite large and will take time to open in your browser. For potentially faster viewing right-click the link and choose 'Save Target As’ to save files to your hard drive and then open them from there. You will then also have them stored locally for future reference.

An opportunity prior to the official opening of the Conference for delegates to join with locals, nature conservationists and countryside managers on one of two rambles in the Lancashire countryside in order to share and discuss what it is that inspires each of us to do the work we do! Experiences from the ‘ramblin' will form part of the last mornings conference programme.

Ramble 1: Clougha - a feast for the senses!

Click to view Clougha Ramble slides by Tim Kemp

Ramble 2: Arnside and Silverdale - a gentle walk through paradise

Click play button to start video

19.30 - 20.30

Tuesday evening - after the Ramble

Evening meal at the University (if pre-booked) County Restaurant

Followed by a gathering in the Bar. Furness Bar.

Accommodation on Campus Tuesday night (if pre-booked). John Creed complex.


Click items below to view Pen Mendonca's VINE Conference Report cartoon graphics. They may take a while to download - they are worth the wait! Please note these remain the copyright of Pen Mendonca. If you wish to use them please contact Pen at: 

  • VINE 1
  • VINE 2
  • VINE 3
  • VINE 4
  • VINE 5
  • VINE 6
  • VINE 7
08.00 - 09.00

(for those staying Tuesday night) - County Restaurant.

10.30 - 12.00

Conference Registration
(Tea & coffee) - Faraday Foyer

12.00 - 13.30

Buffet Lunch
County Restaurant

13.40 - 13.45

Images and sound: John MacPherson
Faraday Lecture Theatre
Earthword - the language of nature

13.45 - 13.55

Introduction and background to VINE: John Bacon
Growing the VINE! - Tim Kemp


13.55 - 14.00

John Lloyd-Jones, CCW Chairman: Introduction to Day One

Click here to view: Opening remarks by John Lloyd-Jones

14.00 - 14.50

Human Nature - Alastair McIntosh
How it is to be human and how we contend with the pressures that threaten to reduce our humanity.

Click to view Alastair's presentation: Human Nature - climate change and the VINE

14.50 - 15.40

Animate earth: science and inspiration - Stephan Harding
Science, intuition and Gaia.

Click here to view Stephan's presentation

15.40 - 16.20

Tea / poster display / 'talking wall' - Faraday Foyer

16.20 - 17.10

Spirit and Nature - John Rodwell - Faraday Lecture Theatre
Unquantifiable benefits; unexpected outcomes; unattributable causes

Click here to view John's edited presentation (Awaited)

17.10 - 17.25

Introduction to workshops:
Supporting the VINE - Providing creative space in our work - Tim Kemp

17.30 - 18.30

Delegates to choose one of the following eight workshops at registration: These will be held in designated rooms within the Faraday Complex, details of which will be given at registration

Workshop Options:

  • 1. Private Nature: rediscovering inspiration - Pat Vincent
  • 2. Sharing inspirational readings (Bring examples with you please) – Peter Phillipson
  • 3. Features of significance’ as a basis for conservation – Matthew Oates & David Russell
  • 4. What could happen if we forget intrinsic values - Mike Alexander
  • 5. Putting it into words: ways to write about nature conservation – Susan Cross
  • 6. SpeyGrian and Vine: common approaches in education and nature conservation. What can we learn from each other? - Joyce Gilbert, Kathy Dale
  • 7. Valuing amateur naturalists; expertise, enthusiasm & recognition – Judith Hanna
  • 8. A session for HR staff, personnel and senior managers: liberating individual inspiration in the workplace - Tim Kemp

Click here to view: Lancaster Conference Workshop Report 13.4.08


Barker Farmhouse Complex


Conference dinner
Barker Farmhouse Complex
Using organic, local and fairly traded food


After dinner with the Arts - Susan Cross and Adrian Tissier - Barker Farmhouse Complex
The arts and nature: performance of poetry and story telling

Click here to view: Elements of the Arts presentation (Awaited)

Bar open until midnight


Overnight Accommodation
John Creed complex

07.30 - 08.45

County Restaurant

09.00 - 09.05

Readings: Peter Phillipson
Faraday Lecture Theatre

Click here to view Peter's presentation. (Awaited)


09.05 - 09.10

Mike Alexander, CCW. Introduction to Day Two

09.10 - 10.00

What drives conservation?
Adrian Phillips

A personal recollection of encounters with aesthetic, ethical and scientific approaches to conservation.

Click here to view Adrian's presentation:

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

10.00 - 11.00

Tim Kemp

Launch of VINE'S nationwide walks programme to inspirational places. What inspires people and why do they value these places. Video of the trial ramble on Tuesday afternoon. Discussing the possible formation of 'regionalised Vine ramblin events'.

Click here to view Ramblin' VINE feedback 14 4 08.


11.00 - 11.40

Coffee and Tea (Poster Session / Talking wall)
Faraday Foyer

11.40 - 12.40

'Debating the value of aesthetics, ethics, passion and inspiration in our work'

Faraday Lecture Theatre

Questions and comments from the floor

Click here to view notes made by Matthew Oates on the Panel discussion.

12.40 - 12.45

Final thoughts
Tim Kemp

12.45 - 12.55

Closing of Conference

13.00 - 14.00

Buffet lunch
County Restaurant


Delegates depart

Summary of feedback from delegates.

Biographic notes for Chairman and presenters.

Environmental and ethical standards

As with previous FACT Conferences the event will be run according to ethical and environmental standards. This will include the use of organic, local and fairly-traded food and drink; strongly encouraging delegates to travel by public transport; ethical banking; and investigating the suitability of carbon offsetting for the event.

VINE is a project developed with, and supported by, FACT (Forum for the Application of Conservation Techniques), Natural England and the Countryside Council for Wales.

VINE gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Countryside Council for Wales and Natural England for this Conference.