This Green and Pleasant Land?

Run time: 15.30 – 16.30

As our climate changes, it brings into focus the competing pressures on how land across the UK is used. There is increasing pressure to protect 30% of land for nature, and a growing recognition that we’ll need to carve out further space for innovative energy and food solutions.  

By 2050, the current goal for the UK reaching net zero emissions of greenhouse gases, we could have a completely different landscape all together. Join a panel of special guests, including Ian Bateman, Mya-Rose Craig and Sophie Pavelle, who together with chair Zion Lights, will share their visions for a 'green and pleasant land', painting pictures of sustainable technology, land use and the future challenges each entails. Don’t miss your chance to have your say on ‘UK 2050’ and help work out what actions we can all take to it.


Ian Bateman is Director of the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP) at the University of Exeter, UK. His main research interests focus on ensuring sustainable wellbeing through working with business and policy makers to bring together natural science and economics. Ian has advised Government Cabinet minister on environmental improvement for over 10 years, has published over 170 papers in scientific journals on his work and was appointed OBE for services to environmental science and policy in 2013.

Mya-Rose Craig is a 21-year-old British-Bangladeshi birder, race activist and environmentalist campaigning for equal access to nature, to stop climate change and biodiversity loss, and to ensure global climate justice, all of which she believes are closely interlinked. She has authored two books,We Have a Dream (2021), which highlights 30 young global environmentalists of colour, and Birdgirl (2022), in which she shares how she found her voice and joy through birding during a deepening family mental health crisis. She is an Oceans Ambassador for Greenpeace, a Survival International Ambassador and an Oxfam Ambassador and has spoken on stage alongside the likes of Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai.

Sophie Pavelle
is a science communicator and author from Exeter.She published her first book, Forget Me Not: finding the forgotten species of climate-change Britain in 2022, which this year won The People’s Book Prize for Non-Fiction. Sophie, a zoologist by training, now works for the Beaver Trust. She is an Ambassador for the Wildlife Trusts and sits on the RSPB England Advisory Committee, and is a Trustee for UNESCO Exeter City of Literature. Her writing appears in New Scientist, National Geographic Traveller, The Guardian, and others.


Zion Lights is a Science Communicator who is known for her environmental advocacy work. She is founder of the evidence-based climate activism group Emergency Reactor and author of The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting. Zion has become a world-leading speaker on clean energy, specifically nuclear energy, and also lectures on effective science communication, tackling misinformation, and climate action.
Zion is also a keen astronomer who has given a TED talk on the importance of stargazing. She is the former Editor of The Hourglass, Extinction Rebellion's print newspaper, and was also a spokesperson for the group for two years. 
For access information and directions to this venue, and all British Science Festival venues, please click this link 

1 September 2025 - 15:30
Exeter Cathedral, Exeter City Centre

Event image for This Green and Pleasant Land?