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Tackling Inequity in Access to Nature Across the City

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Tackling inequity in access to nature across the city

In partnership with Kids Plant Trees

There are many benefits of spending time outdoors in nature - reduced stress and anxiety, improved physical health, connection with others, to name a few. However, not everyone is able to do so easily or regularly. What impact is this having on us, our children, families and communities?

Join our experts from organisations working to help nature and communities in Sheffield as we explore the issue of inequity in access to nature and green spaces in the city. We will address barriers to accessing natural spaces, particularly for those in areas of higher deprivation, black and ethnic minority communities, people with disabilities, women and children. We’ll discuss what’s needed to remove these barriers in the long-term, and help people overcome them in the short-term.

Questions can be submitted before the event, which will feed into the discussion. There will also be an opportunity for an audience Q&A at the end.

Writer, Journalist & Chair

Joe Shute is a Sheffield-based writer and journalist. He is the author of A Shadow Above: the fall and rise of the raven and Forecast: a diary of the lost seasons (both published by Bloomsbury). He is also the co-founder of Abbeydale Street Trees and a postgraduate researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University's Leverhulme Unit for the Design of Cities of the Future.

Project Manager and Operational Manager

Maxine has, through her work with a number of agencies, developed projects to improve the educational experience of vulnerable and socially excluded young people in South Yorkshire. Her expertise and skills focus on the alignment of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) agendas into sustainable knowledge development strategies, which has resulted in her presenting a number of research papers at national and international conferences. She is also Director at Principles of Success CIC, and True Talk Africa CIC, Chair of Utopia Theatre board of trustees and Trustee at Sheffield Museums and SOAR.


Ted has 30 years’ experience of delivering parks and countryside services in Sheffield and the Peak District National Park. Having worked for the local authority, the National Park, the National Trust and now Green Estate he has always been a champion of access to our great outdoors, be that at Ecclesall Woods, Longshaw or Manor Fields Park. Tackling inequality in access to nature has been a constant theme and challenge for staff and organisations that manage our greenspaces. With an ongoing crisis in nature, public health, and space for wildlife, now is the time for more radical solutions.

Rachael Smith is a director of Kids Plant Trees, a yoga teacher and a mother to two young daughters. An eco feminist who has an interest in the feminine relationship with nature and how and why this has changed overtime. With over 20 years experience in health and well-being Rachael knows that a meaningful relationship with nature is key to our physical and emotional well-being.

Part of our 2023 festival strand


How can we respond to the climate crisis and biosphere collapse?