My focus as a project innovator has led to me working on many really wonderful initiatives, each requiring a range of skill sets such as concept origination, project management, bringing together a working team, writing scripts, photography, securing sponsorships, and project implementation.
Programmes have included for example creating a visual display for The WILD Foundation’s WILD9 Wilderness Congress in Mexico; the launch of our Sacred Ocean anti-whaling campaign in the Two Oceans Aquarium with Archbishop Desmond Tutu; various marine and environmental awareness initiatives; through to ‘Mapungubwe Revisited’ and raising funds for WWF’s rhino conservation work.
I love coming up with new ways of telling stories that inspire people to look more closely at our natural world. My ‘Reconnecting with Nature’ displays touch on the web of life and nature’s incredible diversity, and through aligning with the South African National Biodiversity Institute, they are now on display in all 9 national botanical gardens around South Africa.
Through creating visually compelling books and interpretative signboards, each holding the vision of sharing information and stories about nature, wildlife ecology and our relationships with the earth, I share a message of connection to the extraordinary living world around us.
WILD GARDEN CONSULTING
After many years of working to raise awareness around the concept of urban wildlife through my Wild Neighbours programme, I am now encouraging people to connect with our natural world through nurturing a home environment that inspires meaningful integration with nature, so that there is a constant flow between our living spaces and the world of wild nature thriving outside. With time, our gardens can become dynamic patchworks within the broader living landscape, so providing food and refuge to the many creatures great and small that live alongside us.
Working to help conserve the earth’s wildlife and wild places has involved raising awareness around crucial conservation issues, from the impacts of urbanisation on wildlife, to wilderness protection, rhino poaching and threats facing the world’s cetaceans. With my husband Noel Ashton, we have launched many programmes that shine a spotlight on these issues, with the vision of changing people’s perceptions not only around how we relate to and impact on the natural world, but how the natural world supports and nurtures our own lives. Each project involves concept and origination, securing programme partners and sponsorships, implementation, managing media and launch events.
Visually engaging signage can significantly enhance someone’s experience in nature, by opening their eyes to the many wonders of our natural world so that they deepen their understanding of nature and our place in the wider living world. I truly believe that we only conserve what we love and connect to, and we only love that which we understand. From concept origination, research and writing scripts, through to taking photographs and overseeing production, I have many years of hands-on experience producing natural history interpretative signboards.
CREATIVE INPUT WITHIN PUBLISHING
Sharing stories about the natural world is a lifelong passion. Over the years I have worked on numerous print publications where my focus has been to weave together descriptive narratives with evocative imagery to inspire an emotional connection to the subject matter. From concept and visioning, writing and photography, to layout and design, I love creating beautiful, inspirational books that touch on the magic and mystery of our natural world.
Please be in touch if you would like to chat about working together.
FEEDBACK TO VARIOUS PROJECTS
“Such lovely curation of our natural environment!” (Dr Cathy Ward)
“I have a holiday house in Betty’s Bay and was very impressed and moved by your signs up Disa Kloof.” (Dr Les Underhill)
“I just wanted to let you know that I was at Kirstenbosch today and stumbled upon your boards. Wow! Such beautiful and inspiring writing that made me kick my shoes off and feel the earth beneath my feet! It is such a wonderful thing that you are doing and so vitally important. I take my hat off to you and your project. Thanks for the inspiration.” (Ingrid Blohm)
“A beautiful initiative Belinda – may it grow and expand and inspire many to live in greater harmony with our wild neighbours.” (Melissa Krige)
“What a Godly moment to experience your ‘Reconnecting with Nature’ in such a beautiful way in the Karoo Garden in Worcester. Really inspiring. Keep up with your work of such high standards. Thanks for sharing it with us. God bless you and your team.” (Francois Grobbelaar)