Today – Interview with Kate Humble on education
Nature presenter Kate Humble on rediscovering two of her greatest passions.
Despite having lived in London for 20 years, Kate Humble is a city person no longer. She may have worked her way up from truly humble beginnings in the TV world (including the role of the clichéd tea lady) to becoming a researcher, director, producer and then presenter of science and wildlife programmes such as Animal Hospital and The Abyss Live, but six years ago Humble and husband Ludo put city life behind them and moved to Wales.
Exclusive Interview with Kate Humble on education
“It’s a return to my roots, and a massive project besides,” Humble says, referencing the dilapidated Monmouthshire smallholding that the couple have reinvented. “I grew up in the countryside, so I am not a city person. I grew up with wildlife, with mud under my fingernails, and having a very happy time. I only came to London when I was 20 and thought that I wanted to work in television, although I wasn’t entirely sure that I did. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and I guess it has worked out in that regard. But the country is where I truly feel alive and it’s so great to be back!”
Although Humble is still very much involved in TV, with several projects waiting in the wings, she currently adores her new life in Wales and this latest project, which involved an intense battle with her local council to wrestle control of a farm which was to be sold off in bits. She tells the extraordinary tale in her latest book, Humble by Nature.
“Councils have a system – they have a way of doing things,” she explains. “I came along and what I was suggesting was something that people had never done before. It doesn’t seem to be that extraordinary that I should suggest that a council-tenanted farm remains tenanted and we run a business on it that supports other people in that community and offers opportunities. But that wasn’t something that had ever been done before in our area.
“It took a very, very long time to persuade them to even allow me to explore the idea with them, but I think I wore them down in the end!”
Wind forward to the present day and Humble and her husband operate the Humble by Nature business on their picturesque farm, running courses in food, rural skills and animal husbandry. For a couple looking to live the simple life, in many ways they’ve taken on a lifestyle that appears just as regimented as the one they left behind!
“You might say that,” Kate laughs. “It’s either that, or on occasions here during the holidays, a bit like a school playground with youngsters running around wanting to see what we’ve done.”
It’s fitting that the 44-year-old wants to inspire the next generation of farm owner. In a sense, she’s passing on the inspiration she was afforded by her former junior school teacher, Mrs. Holt.
“She was someone who reached out and gave me the belief that anything was possible. She’s long retired but the influence of someone you believe in will always live on. We hope to do something similar here – for adults, for kids.”
Passionate about Education, Kate keeps herself busy with the Stuff Your Rucksack Foundation, a charity which provides for overseas schools, communities and charities who desperately require resources, from toys and books to school uniforms for kids.
“The idea is that a simple gift can really inspire children because it is so easily shared around a classroom or local club. When you’re young you can be inspired by the smallest thing, something that seems so insignificant to an adult… be it a map, or a compass, or even a notebook. If we can offer belief to kids via this community in rural Wales, then why not further away too?”
I do hop eyou have enjoyed my Interview with Kate Humble on education you can see my Hermione Norris interview here
Kate’s book, Humble By Nature: Life, Lambs and a Dog Called Badger, is out now.
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