Trees A Crowd


Mark Carwardine: "Don’t ever french-kiss a Narwhal”... and other words of wisdom

Season 2, Ep. 1

Mark Carwardine is a zoologist, leading conservationist, broadcaster and photographer. He came to prominence through his book and BBC documentary series “Last Chance to See” which he created with Douglas Adams of “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” fame. One of Mark’s big passions is diving - he organises whale and dolphin trips in Baja California, Mexico. In this fascinating conversation dusted with the sounds of nearby Canada geese, coots and black-headed gulls, Mark describes his most moving experience, snorkeling with humpback whales, and admiring their five meter long flippers. He talks about his childhood, rescuing animals wherever he found them, and about creating his own mini zoo. He reminisces about an unforgettable moment from his youth; cramming his idols David Attenborough, David Bellamy, David Shepherd and Peter Scott into his old Hillman Imp, which catastrophically broke down on the way to the train station. From the green woodpecker that sits on his office window sill every day, to the narwhals in the high arctic that you absolutely ‘shouldn’t french kiss’, Mark describes the endless joy that nature brings him. For more information on this podcast, including David's thoughts following this interview, head to:

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Dr Helen Pheby: Sculpture for sheep, and rhubarb trains; the place ‘Extraordinary’ can happen

Season 2, Ep. 7
Dr Helen Pheby is the head of curatorial programmes at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Set in 500 acres of historic parkland, the park has provided a “gallery without walls” for artists such as Elisabeth Frink, Auguste Rodin, Giuseppe Penone, and local legends such as Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Helen has collaborated on projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, South Africa, India, and even Barnsley! Born in the so-called ‘rhubarb triangle’, Helen reminisces over “the rhubarb express”, a train which ran from her village in Yorkshire to London, and muses over how magical it was being able to see the contrast between rural and urban environments. In this insightful conversation, Helen explains how she believes creativity and art is a human right, how the YSP was visited by Henry VIII, and how another Henry, Henry Moore, believed it was the job of artists to show people the natural world and subsequently designed artwork for sheep. She explains how the Sculpture Park aims to be inclusive, free from the barriers of social standing, wealth and a gender imbalance that art is often associated with. Subsequently, the YSP is now home to brain-controlled helicopters, women on horseback steeplechasing through the landscapes of the First World War, and all of this second to the migratory routes of the Great Crested Newt. In her own words: “We are places the extraordinary can happen.” For more information on this podcast, including David's thoughts following this interview, head to: