Trees A Crowd


Dr Guy Stevens: Guarding the Big Blue’s Gentle Giant

Season 1, Ep. 8

Dr Guy Stevens is the CEO and co-founder of The Manta Trust. An experienced marine biologist and expert in conservation, he set up the Maldivian Manta Ray Project in 2005. Working closely with the Maldivian government to establish protective measures and educate against targeted fishing, his project eventually grew and now stretches across the oceans. In this episode, Guy explains how his hobby turned into a reality; from breeding tropical fish in his sister’s fish tank to swimming alongside dolphins and sharks in the Maldives. He shares his thoughts on the intelligence of fish, the multiple mysteries of the Manta and highlights his concerns about sustainable tourism driving the Maldivian economy.

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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: