After studying the natural world through a scientific lens in my undergraduate degree of ecology and conservation, I gained an appreciation for the connections between landscapes and the creatures that live in them, and that deep time and evolution have sculpted relationships between species, each other and geology into unbelievably perfect systems. I am also keenly aware of Homo sapiens’ place in this web of life, and the miniscule amount of time it has taken for us to significantly unravel it.
I spent a lot of time studying the myriad of methods in which humans have destroyed these connections. We have reduced habitats into isolated fractions of their former glory, polluted landscapes beyond recognition or repair, and have wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, forcing many species to the brink of extinction.
I have tried to fight the damage I see affecting the natural world: I helped found the current People & Planet society at MMU who facilitate sustainable living for students and campaign to prevent development on Ryebank Fields; I have volunteered with Extinction Rebellion, blocking roads in London to protest the government’s lack of action on climate change; I also joined Ende Gelände in shutting down a vast open pit coal mine in Germany.
I did all these things because I hold a lot of anger and fear regarding the ongoing damage to our natural world, as well as the many social injustices (other damaging symptoms of capitalism) such as racism, xenophobia and sexism. For the same reason, I have been filled with hope and excitement when I discovered this Master of Landscape Architecture degree and the many possibilities the profession brings: the ability to understand and use design in a way that addresses local, national and global issues.
I am studying this course so I can become a landscape architect that can use her privilege and insight to design landscapes that will protect and strengthen vulnerable communities of people, plants and animals in a way that is sustainable, revolutionary and beautiful.