As a naturalist, adventurer, animal lover, journalist and traveller, Cat is hugely passionate about inspiring others to travel to the untouched corners of our planet. A self-confessed “champion of wild adventures”, she believes we should travel the world, as long as we do it sustainably, and her aim is to promote ecotourism to re-engage people in the natural world. Cat maintains that spending time with wild animals is the key to encouraging us to live more consciously on our planet.
Prompted by her early fascination with the outdoors, Cat studied Ecology and Zoology at Imperial College London. Her first expedition saw her studying bats in Honduras and it was during this time, separated from all of modern life’s ‘necessities’, that she became fiercely protective of the wildlife around her.
With an influential YouTube channel and more than 25,000 followers on Instagram, Cat is building a strong social media presence with wildlife documentaries from her intrepid journeys around the world. Recently, she worked closely with Richard Branson and his family who pushed her even further in her ambitions to travel and raise awareness for important international conservation causes.
Cat stresses the importance of minimising her impact on the environment during the filmmaking process and champions the use of renewable energy, locally-sourced produce and local guides.
“Plastic pollution is an issue that I’ve encountered all too regularly on my travels and even in my home village of Sandgate on the Kentish coast. It’s an enormous issue that needs urgent action at every level from international to personal.” On a recent expedition to Aldabra, a remote coral atoll in the Seychelles and a UNESCO World Heritage Site where ecotourism is strictly controlled, Cat was devastated at the sight of the amount of plastic pollution that had crossed the ocean from mainland Africa and India. Although she believes that the awareness around single-use plastic is growing, the next step is to actually report when plastic pollution is encountered. She recommends an app called Plastic Patrol which enables users to record the litter they find and the data is used by industry and the governments to drive positive and impactful changes.
Through her travels, Cat has found that ecotourism has become a powerful method of conservation world-wide. By encouraging others to value these destinations for their own vacations they become infinitely more valuable as a preserved resource rather than a destroyed one.
Cat is also working towards breaking down gender barriers within her field. “I’ve come up against many obstacles throughout my career-path and the younger me was sometimes knocked sideways by rejections and prejudices. I’ve been told ‘you don’t look like an adventurer’ and ‘I’ve had to fire women from expeditions in the past, they are too distracting’.” She continually campaigns to disprove the stereotype that “only men can be adventurers”.
“A richer life to me means working towards something everyday that makes this planet a better place for all its inhabitants”
To see Catherine’s kitchen table video, visit @foraricherlife.