Interview: Ray Mears speaks ahead of Northampton date

Ray Mears
Ray Mears

With climate change deniers  out in force in all environments at the moment, you might think that someone like Ray Mears would be worried about the future.

And while those concerns are still perfectly valid, the explorer believes that children are becoming more aware of the environment.

Ray Mears

Ray Mears

Speaking to us ahead of his show coming to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate in November, he said: “The primary thing we can learn is probably not to be scared of the environment around us. It can teach us things about ourselves, and we can learn from other species. It is also about the impact that mankind is having on the environment and will hopefully make people think about their actions.

“I think if you look at the recent generation of kids coming through, I think they are a lot more aware of the environment and the impact that we have on the bio-diversity of the planet. We are more aware now than we have been.

“But there is always more we can do as a planet.”

From a very young age Ray discovered the joys of exploring the wilderness, the most intact, undisturbed wild natural areas left on our planet.

His fascination with this environment that has not been modified by civilised human activity, has greatly shaped his life.

Ray will take you on a journey that he deeply values for cultural, spiritual, moral and aesthetic reasons and explain why he believes these are vital for the human spirit and creativity.

Describing the show, he said: “The first half of the show is all about bushcraft, such as what it is and what it can do for us. The second half will be about Australia.

“I have just finished filming for a new television series and will be about what I have discovered.

“The last time I did a show like this, it was quite a heavy show and I wanted to do something a little bit lighter this time around. I also wanted to talk to the audience a little bit more about conservation.

“I enjoy getting out and talking to people, you have a more personal experience with the audience of a theatre rather than speaking to them via a television series.”

As if he hasn’t been busy enough, he has a new show released in the autumn on ITV and is called Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears.

“There have been two different series we did out of the filming in Australia.

“The first has already been on the television and the second will be on in the autumn, probably when we start the tour.

“I would hope that people who come and see the show or watch me on the television will actually go to some of the places that I have been.

“I think it is something to see it on television but to experience it for yourself I think is something wonderfully unique.”

And much like the other globetrotters on the screen, you would think that he hasn’t got many more countries to visit, but that is not the case.

Ray said: “There are so many countries that I would like to visit.

“There is too many for me to even pick out or single out one country.”

And does he have a moment in his career he is really pleased with?

“The one thing I am probably most pleased with is that we spent a whole load of time filming how to make a Birch Bark Canoe in a series in the 90s called World of Survival.

“The whole programme was about making it, but we did it without telling the BBC because there is no way we would have been allowed to, but it was sheer heaven.”

Ray Mears – Born To Go Wild can be seen from 7.30pm on Thursday, November 16.

To book tickets call the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk