University launches environment lecture series

World renowned environmentalists will take part in the University of Liverpool’s 2009 public lecture series to celebrate the city’s Year of Environment.

Names lined up for the lecture series include Ray Mears, Alexei Sayle, Tim Smit, Dick Strawbridge and Jonathon Porritt.

Survival expert and presenter, Ray Mears, is known for his study of ‘wilderness bushcraft’ and survival techniques in extreme environments.  He became a household name through television series such as Tracks, Extreme Survival and Trips Money Can’t Buy with actor, Ewan McGregor.  Ray will discuss global cultures and surviving in some of the most remote places in the world.

Alexei Sayle, Liverpool comic, actor and novelist, is best known for Alexei Sayle’s Stuff for the BBC and playing the whole Balowski family in The Young Ones, as well as several films in The Comic Strip Presents series.  Alexei Sayle’s Liverpool, a television series that explored the city’s unique identity, was one of the flagship events to mark Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture 2008.  Alexei will talk about his experiences growing up in post-war Liverpool. 

Tim Smit enjoyed success with Barry Manilow and the Nolan Sisters as a record producer before founding the Eden Project in 2000.  Eden is a ‘global garden’ that explores the relationship between human beings and nature through landscapes, art and architecture.  Tim will discuss the Eden Project – rated as the nation’s fourth most popular visitor attraction – and why it is important to care for the environment.

Engineer and presenter, Lieutenant-Colonel Dick Strawbridge was born in Burma and served in the Royal Corps of Signals before working on television programmes such as Scrapheap Challenge and Crafty Tricks of War.  Dick will talk about green living in the 21st century, which follows his experiences of surviving in a derelict farm house in an attempt to lead a lifestyle with a minimal ecological footprint for his latest television series.

Writer and broadcaster Jonathon Porritt is Co-Founder and Programme Director of Forum for the Future, a charity that focuses on the causes and connections between issues such as climate change,social inequality and environmental degradation.  Jonathon, who was appointed by the Prime Minister as Chairman of the UK Sustainability Commission, will present audiences with his views on the current recession and ways in which the environment might recover.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Howard Newby, said: “The aim of Liverpool’s Year of Environment is to demonstrate green and sustainable living and how our activities impact on the rest of the world.  Our programme of lectures welcomes international experts, writers and performers to speak about their experiences of culture, nature and survival and they will make a great contribution to the city’s celebration of the global environment.”

Tickets are free and available by telephoning the ticket line on 0151 709 3789.  All lectures will take place at 6.30pm at the Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street.

Tickets available to reserve from Tuesday, 24 March:
Alexei Sayle
Stalin Ate My Homework: Growing Up In The Radical Environment Of Post-War Liverpool
Tuesday, 21 April

Ray Mears
Wednesday, 27 May

Tickets available to reserve from Monday, 22 June:
Dick Strawbridge
Living Green in The 21st Century
Monday, 7 September

Tim Smit
Environment Matters
Tuesday, 22 September

Tickets available to reserve from 1 September:
Jonathon Porritt
Recession And Recovery: It’s The Ecology, Stupid
Monday, 19 October




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