On 14 April 1964, just two years after publishing her seminal text Silent Spring which exposed the widespread destruction of wildlife caused by the use of chemical pesticides, Rachel Carson died. This post is in celebration of her life as an educator, activist, scientist and whistleblower, adapted from an essay written for my Master’s in Sustainability Education.

Having studied biology and zoology, Carson was an experienced natural scientist, who later took a role with the US Fish and Wildlife Services (US FWS). …


When my freelance work evaporated as the lockdown loomed, I started looking for opportunities to keep myself safe and busy, and soon began volunteering on a community-supported agriculture project to support the farm’s operations as they saw their veg box orders nearly double in the space of a week.

With millions of people out of work, there has been a sharp rise in the number of people looking for work on farms. …


When I returned from a trip to the Italian Alps in early March, rather than return to my shared flat in London, I headed up to Nottingham to spend the next two weeks in isolation with my parents, who I had been on holiday with.

In any normal situation, I would have returned to my job in Dagenham, where I’m working with local community members in Becontree Heath to make the neighbourhood greener, less polluted and more welcoming through on-street interventions (find out more about the Greening the Fiddlers project here!).

Shortly before going on holiday, I had thought of…


Harvesting the outcomes of the Art of Hosting workshop.

I recently attended a two day course on collaborative working for community groups, led by the Community Organisers network.

Having worked in community engagement support roles for several years, I felt I needed to refresh and add to my toolbelt by learning new skills on how to host meaningful conversations in order to maximise participation and build capacity around a project. After two days, I left feeling inevitably exhausted (it was a three day course packed into two!), …

Athlyn Cathcart-Keays

Freelance researcher, writer & project lead on community & sustainability projects. Interested in land rights, food, nature education🌱 twitter.com/athlynck

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