Lectures

The Naturally Wild Company Lectures

Here are just some of the lectures we offer. Please contact me for bookings.

2020/21 will see The Naturally Wild Company as busy as ever.  With Covid 19 we have been busy writing new lectures and now offer all lectures on line as ZOOM.

After a very successful expedition to Indonesia this year in search of the Birds of Paradise we will be offering the following lectures 

Over the last twenty years I have delivered many presentations to diverse events and audiences all over the UK. I am passionate about reconnecting people with nature, and the conservation of the Worlds endangered species – all of which infuse my entertaining wildlife talks. “  Ray Hale

See below the list for a brief synopsis of each lecture.

  • Sarawak, Spiders and a 160 year old mystery: The search for Wallace’s Spider
  • Mary Anning: A Remarkable Woman in a Mans World (New for 2021)
  • Wild Indonesia: A Journey of Discovery
  • Wild Phillipines
  • Wild Singapore
  • Plastic: Saving the Planet doesn’t have to cost us the Earth (NEW for 2019)
  • Camouflage and Adaptation in the Animal Kingdom
  • Saving The Old Man of The Forest: The Natural History of the Orang utan
  • Sir James Brooke: The First White Rajah Of Sarawak, Headhunters and Pirates
  • Darwin and Wallace: Two Very Different Naturalists
  • Angkor Wat: Cambodia and the Eighth Wonder of The World
  • Vietnam : A Country Not a War
  • Gideon Mantell: The Dinosaur Doctor of Lewes (NEW)
  • Here Be Dragons: The Story of Komodo (NEW)
  • Indonesian Wildlife (NEW)
  • Alfred Russel Wallace: A Very English Naturalist
  • Henry Walter Bates: Eleven Years on The Amazon
  • Charles Darwin: The Man Who Changed The World
  • The Search For Endangered Species in Borneo
  • The Jewels Of South East Asia
  • Spiders and Insects of South East Asia
  • A Stroll Along An English Country Lane (Summer Days)
  • A Stroll along and English Country Lane (Winter Walks)
  • Spiders and Insects of the United Kingdom
  • COMING SOON: The Lunar Men
  • COMNG SOON: The Ark In The Park
  • COMING SOON: Birds of Paradise
  • COMING SOON : Raja Ampat and The Giants of the Sea.

Lecture Synopsis for 2020/2021 All lectures are available as ZOOM meetings

Plastic: Saving the planet doesn’t have to cost us the earth! (New for 2020/21) Recommended

Plastic was hailed as the product that would change our lives forever. It surrounds us wherever we are but no one could have foreseen the crisis that was on the horizon. Today the sea heaves with tonnes of plastic. It can last a thousand years and as it eventually breaks down becomes a soup of micro-plastic that poisons the very food that we eat. Is it too late? What legacies will we leave to our children’s children and what can we do to turn the tide?

Gideon Mantell: The Dinosaur Hunter of Lewes (New for 2020/21)

In 1822 near the Sussex town of Lewes a young Doctor and his wife on a visit to a patient chanced upon a strange object. He immediately recognised it as a fossilised tooth of some wondrous and mighty creature new to science. Thus began a journey that would see Gideon Mantell become a famous writer and lecturer but his life was tinged with scientific rivalry, family misfortune and a crippling accident that ultimately led to his premature death. A fascinating story about a fascinating man.

Alfred Russel Wallace: The Man who lived in Darwin’s Shadow: (New and updated for 2020/21)

We owe so much to this humble now almost forgotten naturalist. Working at the same time as Darwin he arrived at the Theory of Evolution independently and his own essay to Darwin outlining his own ideas on evolution became the catalyst for Darwin to publish his own Origin of Species. Originally credited as co-author of the theory today he stands in the shadows and was buried with little ceremony. Who knows what might have been had he published his own work first?

Charles Darwin: The Man Who Changed The World (New for 2020/21)

Charles Darwin is accredited with the theory of evolution. But where did he find his inspiration and who were his influences? From his early years at Shrewsbury Grammar School and his epic five-year voyage on board The HMS Beagle to his later years at Down House he devoted his life to his world changing work. Today he is a household name but was he always so popular and did he ever find the answers to the questions he asked? Do we really know the full story about this icon?

Henry Walter Bates: Eleven Years on The Amazon. (New for 2020/21)

Henry Bates was 20 years old when he decided to travel to Brazil to collect and study animals. He would spend eleven years exploring the Amazon and its tributaries. In all he collected 14000 species of insect, bird, reptile and mammals. Over 7000 of them new to science. There can be few men who have contributed so much to our understanding of the Natural World than Bates. In this lecture I will tell you his incredible story, his struggle for recognition from his peers and the legacy he left us by describing so many species.

Mary Anning: A Remarkable Woman in a Mans World

Mary Anning was a young girl when she chanced upon a strange looking creature fossilised in the rocks on the beach at Lyme Regis. As a keen natural historian she knew she had found something special. She went on to discover even more “curiosities” as they where known then, frozen in time in the ancient rocks and is now credited with being the first female Victorian palaeontologist/geologist. It was not always such. With her ideas and finds stolen by the all male establishment she died a pauper and lay forgotten for decades…until now!

Adventures in Borneo: The Search for Endangered Species (Updated every year)

Join me on a journey to meet some of the world’s most threatened animals and find out what we can do to help them. From the tiny Western Tarsier to the mighty Sumatran Rhino, all are in need of our help if they are to survive for future generations to enjoy. Over the last fifty years we have seen the Bornean rainforests deplete at an astounding rate. Is it too late? A very popular lecture updated every year.

Saving the Old Man of the Forest: The Natural History of the Orang-utan.

The Orang-utan is the one of man’s closest relatives and yet we continue to destroy its habitat at an alarming rate. Over the last twenty years we have worked with rescue centres in Borneo and the UK in an attempt to bring the plight of these delightful creatures to the UK attention in the hope that we might contribute in some small way to their survival. This lecture tells the story of these magnificent creatures; one I hope that may yet have a happy ending. Another very popular lecture

Take a look at this wonderful place at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmhKfJy00II

also

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4hkdI33hio&feature=related

Sepilok Orangutan Appeal visit: http://www.orangutan-appeal.org.uk/

The Jewels Of South East Asia: A Story of War and of Peace

Most people on hearing the world Vietnam have an image of a war torn country steeped in sadness. In 2015 I made a trip to visit this amazing country for myself. My quest to see this place for myself led me to the rainforest of Borneo, through the paddy fields of South Vietnam, into dense unchartered jungles of North Vietnam and finally to the lost cities of Cambodia. A whirlwind tour of one of the most beautiful regions of our planet.

Wild Indonesia (NEW for 2020/21)

Indonesia is made up of over 17000 islands; humans inhabit only 6000. All of them are the home to some of the most diverse and beautiful wildlife on the planet. It also has the most diverse ethnic tribes on the planet with over 500 languages spoken some by a mere handful of individuals. Some of the most endangered species on Earth live here. From dense tropical rainforest to cool mountain ranges Indonesia has something for everyone.

Wild Philippines (New for 2020/21)

7000 islands make up this diverse archipelago. It is here that recent discoveries have shown that mans early ancestors once walked these lands. From the rainforest to the pristine coral reefs of Palawan the Philippines is amazing. From snorkelling to shopping or hiking to hangliding. The Philippines as it all.

Wild Singapore (New for 2020/21)

Singapore is know as the Garden City and with its lush botanical gardens, orchid parks and one of the biggest and Zoos on earth it is easy to see why. Founded by English man Thomas Stamford Raffles with its roots going back over a thousand years Singapore is truly mystical and unforgettable place. Known as the gateway to the East for centuries today Singapore is perhaps the most beautiful city on earth.

A Summer Stroll along an English Country Lane.

We live in a beautiful country awash with wildlife but often when walking we do not see the beauty around us. This lecture introduces you to just some of the easily overlooked flora and fauna that can be seen in summer if we take the time to look. In order to see we must first look!

 A Winter Stroll along an English Country Lane. (New for 2020/2021)

We live in a beautiful country awash with wildlife but often when walking we do not see the beauty around us. This lecture introduces you to just some of the easily overlooked flora and fauna that can be seen in winter if we take the time to look. In order to see we must first look!

Camouflage and Trickery in the Animal Kingdom

Animals have evolved a myriad of ways to protect themselves from attack. Learn how the mighty elephant can hide behind a tree or how a simple frog can become one of the most feared creatures in the jungle. In order to survive we must all adapt and this lectures introduces the listener to just a few of the most amazing adaptations on the planet.

Cambodia and the Lost Temples of Angkor Wat: (New for 2020/21)

In 1860, a French Archaeologist came across ruins in the Cambodian jungle—and discovered a lost city twice as large as London. It had been abandoned hundreds years previously but why? The Lost City of Angkor Wat is truly a wonder of the Ancient World but there is more to see than temples here. From the halcyon days of the 9th Century to the horrific recent historical events of the 20th Century, Cambodia and its resilient people is truly a land of wonder worthy of our respect.

 Rajah Brookes and the Head Hunters of Sarawak

English gentleman, soldier, buccaneer and Knight of the Realm, Sir James Brooke went to Sarawak in search of his fortune. After supressing a pirate uprising the Sultan of Brunei awarded him the state of Sarawak. He soon became the leader of 30,000 head hunting Dyak Indians and his family ruled for over a hundred years. His story is one of adventure and in this lecture I retell his amazing life

Here Be Dragons: The Story of Komodo and its giants

For centuries it was believed that Komodo was inhabited by fire breathing dragons. Incredibly it was only in the early part of the 20th Century that this enigmatic island gave up its secrets. Today these enigmatic creatures are protected and can be found only on a few isolated islands. They are both fearsome and daunting but do they deserve this reputation. I spent time on Komodo photographing them and came away with a different view.

A Journey Through Indonesia. (NEW for 2020/21)

In 2019 we undertook a journey through the islands of Indonesia. From Bali to Komodo we travelled over 1000 miles and visited many wonderful places. In this lecture I look at the wildlife and the people of this diverse region and how the ever-growing population affects this fragile kingdom.

The Search for Wallace’s Spider (NEW for 2020/21)

In 2006 a spider was found in a jar at the Museum of Natural History. It was from the Beagle. Darwin’s ship. Until that moment there was no evidence to say that Darwin had ever collected them. Thus started a quest that would last over ten years as I tried to prove that Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-author of the theory of evolution had also collected a spider in Sarawak. It was to take me over 8000 miles and to some of the remotest places on earth.

Spiders: Friends not Foe

There are many who fear the humble arachnid but is this justified? Are they really waiting to pounce at your every turn or are they our friends without whom our lives would be so different? A lecture to cure even the most arachnophobic of listener.

Vietnam : A Country not a War

The weight of Vietnam’s history rest heavy on its shoulders. To many people mention of Vietnam conjures images and memories best forgotten but today almost 40 years after the bloody conflict ended Vietnam is an emerging economic giant with a people that welcome one and all to their beautiful country. I will tell you the story of this wonderful country and show you some of it’s amazing wildlife and people.

Spiders and Tarantulas of South East Asia

Spiders and tarantulas in particular, have fascinated Ray from a child and he has realised his dream to find them in the wild. Whether it is the elusive Earth Tigers of Borneo or the brightly coloured jumping spiders of Sabah he has photographed the weird and wonderful arachnids that inhabit our precious rainforests.