Hi, I'm Hayley. I'm an experienced freelance communications specialist helping ethical and environmentally-minded organisations tell their stories. I'm available for freelance projects for businesses and organisations small and large who want to tell their story or promote themselves around their environmental or ethical work. My specialties are writing and content creation, reputation management, PR & media relations and digital media. Have a look at my communications work or recent projects for more info.
I have a background in environmental communications and it's also one of my first passions. I've worked for sustainability-focused PR agencies as well as in-house, notably at the Soil Association, where I spent four years putting organic campaigns on the media radar. It goes without saying that I have a wild and wonderful knowledge of all things organic! Following my undergraduate degree in Social Policy and Geography (where my interests included city branding and sustainable tourism) I completed my Masters in Environmental Management at Edinburgh University. My research explored the best ways to design ski slopes in order to preserve local biodiversity. After a two year stint as an environmental consultant, I built my communications career around a desire to do good in the world, both socially and environmentally.
Alongside my freelance work I'm passionate about conservation and am a Trustee of Buglife - the invertebrate conservation charity that fights for the UK's wonderful, diverse and hugely under-appreciated insects. I have a love of the outdoors, an affinity for nature and conservation and a thirst for exploring new places (as sustainably as possible of course). I grew up in the Canadian countryside under tall spruces and pines but swapped eye-poppingly cold Canadian winters for glorious, week-long British summers. I now live in the Wye Valley under the beeches and birches of South Wales.
ABOUT UNDER THE TREES
Under the Trees is HQ for my freelance business on the web - my name is far too complicated to spell to merit its own website - this is far easier! It's also home of my blog, which is about the seasonal (mis)adventures that stem from turning a two-acre bramble-covered plot of land in the Wye Valley into an orchard and wildflower meadow... plus the occasional musing from travels further afield. Expect photos and the odd recipe for wild cocktail infusions.
MY ENVIRONMENTAL INTERESTS
I consider myself an environmentalist first and a communicator second - communication and storytelling just happens to be the vehicle I use to exercise my passion for the environment. Here are a few of my environmental interests, but this isn't an exhaustive list.
Organic food & farming 🐖 Organic farming isn't perfect, but I believe it's the best system we have for giving farm animals a better life, protecting Britain's declining wildlife, and taking care of our soils and the environment. It's also delivering many of the Government's post-Brexit future farming objectives, especially those related to climate change and public benefits (like access to nature and clean water). My time working at the Soil Association gave me in-depth insight of organic and the growing organic market and it's safe to say I'm a huge champion of organic food and drink.
Trees 🌳 I'm especially fond of trees in cities. I'm interested in their value for wellbeing and for adapting to and mitigating climate change. I first recognised the value of trees while working on a project for Cambridge City Council as an environmental consultant and have been fascinated with them ever since. More recently I have also become interested in agroforestry, or the mixing of trees and crops or livestock.
Rewilding 🌱 Playing the long game with nature. Rewilding is a long-term, nature-based approach to land management and the value it has on helping nature recover while improving our wellbeing, too. Knepp Estate in Sussex is a brilliant example of what is possible when it comes to rewilding in the UK.
Bees and insects 🐝 Not as cute as pandas or whales, but invertebrates are the backbone of our planet's biodiversity, and we are losing them faster than we can research them. Buglife does excellent work campaigning for insects, and Dave Goulson's excellent book A Sting in the Tale provides an informative (and more importantly, really interesting) exploration into the challenges that bumblebees in particular face.
Sustainable travel 💼 I'm also interested in urban regeneration and nature tourism, especially exploring how we can promote nature in a way that is neither contrived nor exploitative.
View some of my recent work