Rural researcher, Molly Biddell gives an insight into the inaugural Netwalk for Change at her family’s farm Hampton Estate
As co-chairs of the Surrey Lieutenancy Climate Change Focus Group, we were delighted to be able to host the inaugural Netwalk for Change at Hampton Estate in June.
The aim was to create a disruptive event that brought together key influencers within Surrey to connect and share knowledge on how the county is and can combat the twin environmental crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
However, the phrase networking doesn’t always fill us with joy – it tends to invoke images of stuffy conference rooms and hard-to-eat canapes. We thought it would be more fun and importantly, more inspirational to hold a glorified walk and talk – a ‘conference on the move’, discussing nature and climate whilst exploring a corner of Surrey’s beautiful countryside.
We walked through Hampton’s regenerative pastures and award-winning woodlands, with views across to our new heathland and chalk downland restoration projects.
We had quick fire stops along the way to hear from thought leaders on nature-based solutions, community, education, transport and property.
The talks were full of food for thought, with provocative challenges thrown from our speakers to the audience. The Netwalk ended with pints of beer, courtesy of our local Longdog Brewery – brewed with Hampton hops. We were delighted that so many new ideas were shared, and connections made.