Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


November 03, 2006

Kate Povey

Communications Officer, The Gaia Foundation (

Today's Date: 3rd November 2006

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

One that I've remembered recently is being shown around an orchard by the owner when I was about 8 years old. The orchard was near to where my grandfather lives and Mum used to help pick apples during harvest time. She was getting a bit old and was said to be quite a prickly person! But she seemed to take a liking to me and showed me around the whole orchard.

The grass was very lush and dewy as it was a damp misty morning, and the apples trees loomed up ahead, field after field. We walked over an old stone bridge and caught a glimpse of a kingfisher - the first one I'd seen. The flash of brilliant blue and orange has stayed in my mind ever since, and I suppose you could say it had an impact because I've just moved back to Devon with my partner and we are about to regenerate an old orchard there, in order to conserve old apple varieties and do small scale fruit juice and cider production.

I love the heritage of the English apple - the folklore surrounding it, the powers such 'sacred' trees can hold - I don't want all this knowledge lost.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

I grew up in the countryside and had lots of favourite places. One was an old oak tree, in the field next to our garden. My friends and I would climb in it and sit and have picnics in it. Down the middle was a huge hole (probably struck by lightning) and once we'd lost our flask of orange juice down it. It was too far down to be able to rescue it! The roots of the tree were also exposed and were just high enough to help me get on the pony that a friend of ours kept in the field and could ride bareback around the field before it decided to stop and have a roll!

Now? Now, I am still discovering our new farm. We have a woodland of about 5 acres but I haven't yet explored it properly. The most relaxing spot is at the back of the cow shed in the evening, when the sun is going down and it's nice and warm and protected from the wind.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

The animal I form most attachment with is probably my cat! I don't know if you were talking about pets and domestic animals or prefer what wild animal is my favourite but I think cats I have most experience of relating to. I like any native British wild animal but you can't get too emotional about them as you see so much road kill nowadays and farmers have problems with badgers, deer, rabbits and foxes - it can be quite a sensitive issue in the country!

My favourite wild animal would probably be the blue whale or killer whale - such magnificent creatures with strength and grace to take your breath away. I haven't seen one in person though.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Climate change - has been my greatest concern for over 10 years, now hopefully everyone else is waking up to it too. I think it will dominate the future too - together with how we live, carbon emission, use of energy, transport etc - it really does affect everyone's whole lives.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

Don't waste anything! People buy so much rubbish that doesn't last. Think about every little thing you buy and dispose of - and try to cut it down drastically. It is not just a matter of governments taking the lead with regulations and legislation, EVERYBODY has to think and act.

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