June 5


08:30 am - 04:30 pm

Click to Register:

Climate Action North East (CIC)


Newcastle Gateshead Marriott Hotel MetroCentre

Newcastle upon Tyne, NE11 9XF

Newcastle upon Tyne, England, GB, NE11 9XF

Join us for our Climate Action North East Annual Conference “Rewilding – A Solution for Climate Change” to celebrate the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) World Environment Day on 5 June 2019. 

The conference, hosted by Climate Action North East, and sponsored by Resilient Business Systems will focus on Rewilding as one of the potential solutions for mitigating the effects of Climate Change.  

Climate change poses a fundamental threat to our places, species and affects all our plans for sustainable development in a safe, secure and prosperous world.

Rewilding is defined as the mass restoration of ecosystems and to achieve this goal on the scale that’s needed, rewilding must be on the agenda and minds of everyone in a position to take action. this could include almost anybody, not least those in the business world, conservation, farming and community sectors.

This conference will give us an opportunity to explore how rewilding can be considered a major key influence in tackling climate change, restoring ecosystems, and promoting the conservation of key species and biodiversity.  


Doug Allan –  Blue Planet Cameraman and Award-Winning Photographer  Doug spent eight years in Antarctica as a research diver, scientist and photographer for the British Antarctic Survey, before changing direction to full time filming in 1984. Since then he has become one of the world’s best known and respected cameramen. He specialises in natural history, expeditions and science documentaries in some of the wildest and most remote places on our planet, particularly the polar zones. Over his career, he’s filmed for series like The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, Ocean Giants, Operation Iceberg and Forces of Nature. Doug’s photographic awards include eight Emmy’s and five BAFTA’s. He has twice won the underwater category in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. He has three Honorary Doctorates in recognition of his camerawork, as well as two Polar Medals and an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society

Professor Alastair Driver (FCIEEM) – Specialist Advisor for Rewilding Britain – Alastair is cited in “Who’s Who” for influence and distinction in the field of Environmental Conservation.  He is an expert country naturalist and ecologist who became the first Conservation Officer for the Thames Cathchment from 1984-2002 and was National Head of Conservation for the Environment Agency from 2002-2016.   Alastair is a Specialist Advisor for Rewilding Britain and Arup, an Honorary Professor at University of Exeter, a trustee of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and an environmental advisor pro bono for several organisations including the National Trust and the Wild Trout Trust. Alastair also advises governments and organisations around the world on conservation issues and leads wildlife studies on expeditions for the Scientific Exploration Society.  

Isabella Tree – Author and Owner Knepp Estate – Isabella Tree is an award-winning travel writer and author, married to the conservationist Charlie Burrell. Her latest book ‘Wilding’ tells the amazing story of their daring wildlife experiment: the rewilding of Knepp Estate (3,500 acres) in West Sussex. Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy Sussex clay was economically ruinous, they decided to step back and let nature take over.  By introducing free-roaming herbivores —proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain— the Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again. In less than twenty years wildlife has rocketed and numerous endangered species have made Knepp their home. Soils have been restored and are sequestering carbon. The Knepp experience challenges conventional ideas about our past and present landscape, and points the way to a wilder, richer future—a countryside that benefits farming, nature and us.

Sacha Dench – Conservationist, adventurer and motivational speaker – Sacha has carried out many roles ranging from wildlife biologist to running a film and photography unit, a pollution detective, to Director of Public Relations for different organisations worldwide. Sacha’s speciality is communication of complex conservation issues, in inspiring ways. Growing up in farming and fishing communities, Sacha has huge respect for all those at the forefront of the rewilding debate. She also knows first-hand what it means to publicly put your neck on the line for conservation. Recently, Sacha has become known for the award winning ‘Flight of the Swans’ expedition, in which she overcame a fear of flight to fly a paramotor (hanging from a piece of cloth by strings with a big fan on her back) 7,000 km from arctic Russia to the UK – following the migration of wild swans.

David Hetherington – Author: Lynx & Us – Dr David Hetherington completed his doctorate in 2005 at the University of Aberdeen. It explored the feasibility of reintroducing the Eurasian lynx to Scotland, and in the process allowed him to build up a network of contacts across Europe. He then moved to the Cairngorms National Park, where he still lives and works on strategic woodland expansion and wildcat conservation. He sits on the board of Trees for Life, an award-winning charity that works to enhance the native woodland ecology of the Scottish Highlands. He recently published a book with French wildlife photographer, Laurent Geslin, called ‘The Lynx and Us’, which examines the relationship between lynx and people across Europe, and discusses the implications of this for the UK.

Professor Chris Stokes – Glacier Specialist and Researcher Chris is a Professor in the Department of Geography at Durham University, UK. His research focusses on glaciers and their response to climate change; and ranges from monitoring small mountain glaciers over the last few decades to large-scale reconstructions of continental ice sheets over tens of thousands of years. Chris has authored over 130 scientific papers, contributed to several edited books, and his work has been covered in both national and international media. He was awarded a prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize (in 2009) in recognition of his research contributions and has been awarded the British Society for Geomorphology’s Gordon Warwick Medal (2013) and Wiley Award (2008). Chris is a former President of the British Branch of the International Glaciological Society and currently sits on the international steering committee for a new interdisciplinary Arctic research network ‘PalaeoArc’ (Processes and Palaeo-environmental Changes in the Arctic: 2018-2024). 


  • Durham Wildlife Trust 

  • Northumberland Wildlife Trust

  • WWT Washington Wetlands Centre 

  • EcoNorth 

  • Climate Action North East 

  • True North Sustainability 

  • RSPB Saltholme 

  • Resilient Business Systems 

  • Wild Intrigue 

  • Mahouts Elephant Foundation 

And many more exhibitors to be confirmed. 


Refreshments and Lunch will be provided. 

This will be an interesting and exciting packed day of presentations, debate and networking with a focus on linking Rewilding to the Changing Climate and discussing the many solutions. 

The event will be chaired by Mike Pratt, CEO, Northumberland Wildllife Trust.    

Thank you to our Main Event Sponsor Resilient Business Systems and to our many Table Sponsors soon to be announced.   

                                                          Look forward to seeing you there!