The Rob Smith Podcast - All Bases Covered


Evan Bowen-Jones, Kent Wildlife Trust

A conversation with Evan Bowen-Jones, CEO of the Kent Wildlife Trust recorded at Tyland Barn on the 7th November 2022.

Its an extensive ramble of a conversation, starting with the fact that global leaders are gathering for COP27 in Egypt to talk about climate change amid concerns that it may already be too late for the world to reduce CO2 emissions enough to meet the 1.5c target by 2050. We talk about Wilding and Rewilding and the difference between the two, and the release of wild bison into the Blean woodland near Canterbury.

Evan talks about the need for government regulation and public subsidy to help landowners and farmers engage in good countryside management as well as food production, so that marginal land isn't needlessly ploughed up or set to pasture for little if any gain to humanity, but with serious consequences for wildlife.

He was inspired to become a conservationist after watching David Attenborough's Life on Earth as a child, and talks about being fortunate enough to have spoken with him on several occasions. Despite the huge concerns over the current state of the environment, Evan remains optimistic for the future, and hopeful that with enough efforts now Kent, and indeed the UK, will have significantly more wildlife in it in 50 years time than we have today - which I find to be really heartening.

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Jatin Patel, fashion designer

Ep. 6
My latest conversation is with Jatin Patel – one of the UK’s hottest fashion designers, and its amazing. Based in Rochester in Medway in Kent, his bespoke clothing label Kalika's Armour is worn by some of the UK’s wealthiest people and top models. He’s British Indian, his parents came to the UK from the Gujurat in the 1960s – and our conversation took place the day after Rishi Sunak became the UK’s first non-white political leader, a really significant moment whatever your politics, and the spark for a really thought provoking discussion about race and racism, belonging and what it means to be British.We also talked about fashion, obviously, and sustainability and ethics in the industry. We also talked about his personal journey from being a working class lad from the midlands to his current success – overcoming prejudice and confidence issues along the way. Our conversation took place in his extraordinary apartment in a Napoleonic Fort in Rochester, with gun emplacement windows that overlook the river and the castle and cathedral, a space stuffed with all manner of objects collected over the years - peacocks and Buddhas, crowns and chandeliers, even a full size leopard! Its somewhere exotic and creative and very much what you might expect of someone embedded in high fashion - but maybe unexpected in the Medway Towns. He is fierce advocate of Medway and its creative potential, and vocal about the need to protect and promote its further and higher education opportunities - he studied at KIAD which famously also counts Zandra Rhodes as an alumnus.A dazzling character, even if he habitually dresses all in black, Jatin is also about to launch a new project to bring his designs to the wider public. I find him to be really stimulating and energising - and I hope you enjoy our conversation too.