Cambridge Festival: Changing the Landscape of Conservation


Saturday, 1 April, 2023 – 12:00 to 16:00
David Attenborough Building

Come and discover the varied and vital work that goes in the Cambridge Conservation Initiative in the David Attenborough Building

Conservation has many sides and is tackled in a wide variety of ways. Join us in the David Attenborough Building to learn about the many different approaches being used to help conserve the world’s wildlife and natural landscapes, and to find out how collaboration is key to securing a sustainable future for all life on earth. The Cambridge Conservation Initiative is a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and 10 leading international conservation organisations, all working to halt the biodiversity crisis. Read more about CCI here.

Get involved in some ‘citizen science’ by mapping the tree-scape of Cambridge. See some weird and wonderful natural history objects. Young people can explore conservation issues in their local environments through a mental mapping exercise. Come and hear from academics, charities, stakeholders and farmers about the Fens of East Anglia and what the future holds for this and other precious and fragile landscapes.

Event schedule (please find booking links further down the page)

12:00-13:00 – CCI Partners and MPhil Students will conduct a lively ‘Show and Tell’ 

12:00-12:45 – Talk and activity – ‘Mental Maps, Child Health and Urban Nature’

13:00-13:30 – Tour of the David Attenborough Building

14:15-14:55 – Talk: ‘Burgers, aliens, music-making and wolf-friendly footwear – innovative ways to make money & involve people in restoring our planet’ – Dr David Thomas

15:00-16:00 ‘What does the future hold for the Cambridgeshire fens?panel discussion with the Centre for Landscape Regeneration 

Drop in activities:

12:00-16:00 – Citizen Science –  ‘Mapping trees for conservation in Cambridge and beyond’. Drop in

13.00-15.00 – Reconnect with Nature Through Journal Scrapbooking with students from the Masters in Conservation Leadership. Drop in, all ages  


12:00-13:00 CCI partners and MPhil students will conduct a lively ‘Show and Tell’ covering objects and thoughts connected to biodiversity conservation. Be prepared for anything!

Hosted by Dr Ed Turner, Curator of Insects in the University Museum of Zoology.

The CCI MPhil in Conservation Leadership students are chosen through a rigorous selection procedure for this unique interdisciplinary Masters course, hosted by the University of Cambridge, and taught by colleagues from six departments across the University as well as from the ten CCI conservation organisations partners.

These students are the ones to watch!

Eventbrite Link (Recommended for Adults, Young Adults, Older Children)

12:00-12:45 – Talk and activity – ‘Mental Maps, Child Health and Urban Nature’ with Dr Susan Qu  

How do mental maps help children and young people think about their local environment and conservation issues? Mental maps can be used in environmental studies, and can be a great tool to demonstrate to young people the importance of nature and conservation in their cities and communities.

Dr Susan Qu will introduce the concept of mental maps, and then young people will then be asked to draw their perceptions of their neighbourhood, city and the natural world. This will be followed by an informal discussion about what the participants have discovered.

Eventbrite link Aimed at 12 to 18 year olds, parents welcome to join in too!

13:00-13:30 – Tour of the David Attenborough Building

A rare opportunity to tour this special ‘biophilic’ building named after CCI’s patron and to learn about the role of the arts within conservation.

The David Attenborough Building was opened in 2015 following an ambitious redevelopment project led by CCI. The ‘biophilic’ design put nature and sustainability at the heart of the project, transforming an old University building (formerly known as the Arup Building) into a vibrant hub for global conservation.

The tour will also provide insight into the CCI’s innovative arts programme. Artists inspire new ways of looking at, listening to, and engaging with science, and have an extraordinary capacity to create encounters with the natural world that are memorable. They have the ability to transform the way we portray and undertake conservation.

Booking essential – places limited – Eventbrite Link (Recommended for Adults, Young Adults, Older Children)