Holding onto all that is wild and free in our beautiful world…

I love trees and spring flowers and old fences covered with creepers. I love watching geese fly home at sunset, the first barn swallows arrive swift-on-wing from distant shores and listening to the birds that sing and chatter in my garden. I love forest trails and long winter evenings reading a book. I love reflecting on my trips to the faraway Kalahari and those ancient dances around an evening fire. I love following narrow lanes that ribbon through towering hedgerows. I love robins and foxes and badgers and mongooses. I listen out for porcupines at night and the eagle owls calling to one another from neighbours’ rooftops. I love dried flowers in glass vases, the smell of cut sage and soft light filtering through my husband’s beautiful jasmine on the stoep. I love the texture of slangbos, the subtle scent of wild buchu, and breathing in the earth-air after a light rain. I love the ocean breeze, the silence of an ancient woodland, bluebells in spring, snowdrops in winter, flowering aloes, a river gurgling over mossy rocks. I love waking up to a fresh new day knowing that the magic of life stretches before me…

Born in the beautiful fairest Cape, I have always been drawn to wild landscapes, where my soul resonates with the earth and the creatures that live alongside us.

For years I have worked for wildlife and wild places, creating inspirational publications and displays with the vision of inspiring a closer connection with the wider living world around us.

In my profession as a nature writer and project innovator, I have been a committee member of the Cape Bird Club and worked to conserve Cape Town’s baboons as a trustee of the Baboon Matters Trust. I have also been involved in a wide range of initiatives that have included producing Cape Envirolink magazine; investigating the porcupine quill trade for IFAW-SA; creating the ‘Reconnecting with Nature’ displays for SANBI; and raising funds for WWF-SA’s rhino conservation work.

With my husband Noel Ashton, we have worked for whales and dolphins and their fragile marine habitats through our Oceans of Africa programme. Our Sacred Ocean anti-whaling campaign was launched by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and our latest book ‘Watching Whales and Dolphins in southern Africa’ was published by Penguin Random House. We are at present working on the next phase of Sacred Ocean called ‘HumanNature Reconsidered’, to be launched in 2018.

“I love not man the less, but nature more…” (Lord Byron)

Belinda Ashton
Email : envirolink@iafrica.com
Personal website : http://www.belindaashtonnature.wordpress.com