Outscape Conference: Expert Panel – Environment

7th February 2023

The Outscape Conference is now three weeks away and we are excited to announce our second expert panel joining us on the 23rd February 2023.

It will be the first in-person event since the pandemic and we look forward to seeing you there. Haven’t booked? Don’t miss out – BOOK NOW! 

What is next for the environment and outdoor recreation? We have a group of expert panelists joining us at Greenhill YMCA National Outdoor Centre on 23rd February 2023 who might have the answer!

Dr. Alison Holt

Dr. Alison Holt is a Director and co-founder of Natural Capital Solutions, a leading consultancy specialising in biodiversity and ecosystem services. She is an interdisciplinary scientist with over 20 years of experience in academia and as a consultant and leads innovative projects using scientifically rigorous natural capital and ecosystem service assessment approaches (e.g. mapping, valuation and accounting, biodiversity and natural capital net gain), at a range of scales and tailored to the context. Alison has advised and managed projects across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, for clients in the public, third, and private sectors, from planning and development, health, conservation, agriculture, and land management. This has allowed them to embed the natural capital approach into their decision making, to create strategies and business cases that deliver benefits for people and nature.

Helen Lawless

As Access & Conservation Officer with Mountaineering Ireland, Helen is focused on maintaining and improving access for hillwalking and climbing, while balancing that with protecting and sustaining mountains, crags and coastal areas across the island of Ireland. Helen is passionate about inspiring and encouraging responsible recreation. In her spare time, Helen is an active hillwalker and likely to be found exploring rugged mountain areas, photographing wild flowers, or volunteering in her local community in the Wicklow Mountains.

Jonny Bell

Jonny is the Head of Land and Sea Policy at the RSPB where he leads policy work in a range of areas, including food and farming, peatlands, forestry, climate, natural capital and marine. He previously held the position of Policy Manger at Northern Ireland Environment Link.  With broad experience in environmental research, policy, teaching and project management, he has completed a PhD in environmental planning. Jonny is a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, sits on the Institute’s Policy and Research Forum and is a member of the Strategic Investment Boards Circular Economy Advisory Panel.
Jonny has taught a range of undergraduate and post graduate modules on the topics of climate change, planning, sustainability and environmental policy.  He has led and assisted on major research projects and produced peer reviewed publications in the fields of protected area management, planning and environmental policy.
In his non work life, Jonny is an international hockey player and Irish Olympian.  After being part of the first Irish hockey team to complete at an Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, he went on to play in the 2018 Hockey World Cup. Captaining his club team Lisnagarvey HC for five years, he has helped the team win 3 All-Ireland trophies in this period. He has amassed 190 caps for his country, captaining the side over 50 times. Jonny is a member of the European Hockey Federation Athletes Commission.

Maia Taylor

Maia has been involved in connecting people and the natural environment all around us throughout her career. From environmental education to community woodland creation in the eNGO sector to roles within DOE and then DAERA in encouraging partnership working to deliver nature recovery, landscape management, outdoor recreation and environmental awareness and action, such as through  the Environment Fund grant programme, development of Our Great Outdoors – the Outdoor Recreation Action Plan for NI and the Education for Sustainable Development Forum.