A biodiversity bike ride in the Andes

FORMER university lecturer Kate Rawles comes to Sladers Yard at West Bay on Thursday 23rd November, as part of the Help Our Planet (HOP) series. Her talk, Adventure in the Andes: The Life Cycle biodiversity bike ride, is the story of her extraordinary journey the length of South America on a bamboo bike she built herself.

Along her marathon route, Kate explored biodiversity: what it is, what’s happening to it and why losing it amounts to as great a threat as climate change.

Formerly a lecturer in environmental philosophy and then outdoor education, Kate now works freelance. Her overall aim is to give a massive wake-up call – raising awareness and inspiring effective, intelligent action on some of our most urgent environmental challenges.

Kate has written widely on environmental issues including two books, The Life Cycle (Icon Books 2023), which has been shortlisted for this year’s Banff Mountain Festival Adventure Travel Book Award, and The Carbon Cycle, Crossing the Great Divide (Two Ravens Press, 2012; Rocky Mountain Books), based on a bike ride from Texas to Alaska exploring climate change.

Kate grew up mainly in Scotland. She lives in Cumbria with her partner, Chris, and is a keen sea kayaker, hill walker and bookworm, as well as a cyclist. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a member of The Adventure Syndicate, and an ambassador for the Lake District Foundation.

The HOP talks are an initiative started by Philip Howse (Professor Emeritus, University of Southampton) with Professor Sir Ghillean Prance (former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) George Monbiot, Clive Farrell, Dr George McGavin and the late James Lovelock. The project aims to inspire and inform individuals and local communities with tangible actions and the latest reliable information to help combat the effects of climate change and environmental degradation, and to raise money for charities working in these areas.

Each month the charity is chosen by the speaker. The talk is followed by lively discussion with the audience. It begins at 7pm, with a hot supper and bar available from 6pm. Proceeds of the event will be going to Dorset Wildlife Trust and towards the making of the Vicar of the Amazon film.