Sacha Dench, ‘The Human Swan’ – an inspiring conservationist, adventurer and motivational speaker, visited Edinburgh today (13th May) to film her talk for the upcoming Edinburgh Science Festival. In Conversation with Sacha Dench will take place digitally at 7.30pm on 3 July and is the first event to be announced as part of this year’s Edinburgh Science Festival. The event signals the Festival’s strong focus on climate crisis and other challenges our Planet is facing as we near COP26 in Glasgow later in the year.

Most famous for Flight of the Swans – flying 7000km (or 4300 miles) by paramotor from the Russian Arctic to the UK in a bid to find out why the Bewick’s swans, the continent’s smallest and most threatened swan species, were declining so fast and to generate public support for the cause – Sacha Dench’s talk will focus on some of the environmental challenges our Planet is facing as well as the power of audacious goals. Her famous Flight, which saw her braving thunderstorms and polar bears, won her and her team ENDS Environmental Campaign of the Year and helped end the 20 year species decline.

Sacha is a true adventurer and explorer. She is UN Ambassador for Migratory Species, founder of Conservation Without Borders as well as volunteer group Eco Divers, a recipient of the coveted Britannia Trophy (2018, not won by a woman since 1967), a Woman of the Year 2017 – joining a line-up of inspirational women including Professor Mary Beard and actor Nicole Kidman – and she also holds the record for the First Channel Crossing by Paramotor for a woman.
She is also an experienced free diver and a cave diver who has beaten the world record for breath hold (6 minutes 22 seconds) in a training session.

Sacha dench – ‘The Human Swan’ – all images Ian Georgeson Photography

Sacha’s Conservation without Borders launched Round Britain Climate Challenge in 2020, a high-profile and high-impact climate crisis campaign designed to inspire and involve the whole nation to make a real difference. The campaign will not only showcase the devastating impact of climate crisis all over Britain but, more importantly, record and raise the profile of people and projects that are our technological and natural solutions to the crisis and shift the public narrative from overwhelmed to inspirational.

For more information on the Challenge visit this Crowdfunder page.

Sacha Dench said: “It’s great to be back in Edinburgh and taking part in the Science Festival. By the time this interview broadcasts I will be in the middle of my attempt to circumnavigate Britain in a newly-developed electric paramotor, in the run up to COP26. Scotland is going to be the dramatic grand finale, with Scotland seemingly leading the way on climate solutions there will be some of the most incredible people to speak to, and the most dramatic landscapes to fly over!”

Amanda Tyndall, Creative Director of Edinburgh Science Festival said: “With COP26 on the horizon and a pressing need to draw attention to the plight of the planet we are delighted to welcome Sacha back to the Edinburgh Science Festival. Her feats of adventure and exploration are an amazing way of capturing the public’s attention on crucial issues for climate and conservation and Sacha is nothing less than inspirational.’’

The 2021 Edinburgh Science Festival takes place between 26 June and 11 July 2021 and is themed around One World: Science Connects Us, exploring how we are all connected – to each other, to Planet Earth and to the wider Universe. Full Festival programme launch will take place on 26 May.