In June 2016, Wendy founded True To Nature Limited (TTN), a Bristol based independent production company specialising in innovative, premium natural history and specialist factual productions and recently secured the first SKY NATURE Premium natural history series commission SHARK WITH STEVE BACKSHALL. In 2019 Sky Studio took a 25% shareholding in True To Nature limited.
Previous TTN commissions include a number of complex international co-productions including EXPEDITION WITH STEVE BACKSHALL 10 x 60’ for UKTV Dave and BBC, PBS, France 5 with Fremantle as WW Distributors, GANGS OF LEMUR ISLAND 5 x 60’ for BAM/Love Nature, Smithsonian Network, Arte premiering on Sky Nature in the UK, LIVING VOLCANOES/PLANET OF VOLCANOES for ZDF and ARTE, PBS, WNET Thirteen premiering on Sky Nature in the UK and WW distribution by ZDFE.
Prior to TTN, Wendy enjoyed a 25 year career at the BBC Natural History Unit (NHU), which culminated in her becoming the first female Head of the NHU from 2012 to 2016 when she was responsible for ground breaking award winning titles such as: BAFTA winning Big Blue Live, double BAFTA winning DEADLY 60 with STEVE BACKSHALL; Life Story (2014); Africa, and multiple trilogies such as Wild Japan; Wild New Zealand, Wild Patagonia and the multi award winning Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II.
Before commencing her career in media in 1991, Wendy was awarded a PhD in Marine Science, from the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences & James Cook University, Australia (1991) and a BSc Joint Honours Geology and Zoology, University of Bristol (1986).
More recently (in 2016) she was awarded the honorary degrees of Doctor of Science from the University of Bristol and Doctor of Arts from the University of the West of England, and was awarded the Royal Geographic Society, Cherry Kearton Medal and award for cinematography of the natural world in June 2016.
Wendy is passionate about, and an advocate of, the natural world and has, on many occasions, been a supporter of media initiatives to support sustainability and the environment as evidenced by:-
2019: Expedition with Steve Backshall – UKTV’s First Carbon Neutral Production: –
Wendy was the Executive Producer on EXPEDITION with STEVE BACKSHALL which was UKTV’s first commission to be certified as a Carbon Neutral production by Natural Capital Partners, which founded The Carbon Neutral Protocol in 2002 – the world’s leading framework for businesses to achieve carbon neutrality.
UKTV offset the production’s carbon emissions by funding a Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) project in the RIMBA RAYA BIODIVERSITY RESERVE in Borneo, Indonesia.
REDD+ projects reduce emissions and provide a natural climate solution by conserving forests from deforestation.
RIMBA RAYA’S REDD+ project preserves carbon-dense tropical peat swamp by helping to halt the deforestation of 65,000 hectares of forest which was earmarked for conversion to palm oil plantations. The project focuses on community development – encompassing 2,000 households living within the project area – and biodiversity conservation, particularly the protection of the endangered Borneo Orang utan. In order to deliver on its goals, the project uses the support of carbon finance to actively engage local communities to improve food security, income opportunities, health care, and education.
It is one of the largest REDD+ projects in the world and its contribution to reducing carbon emissions is validated and verified by an independent third-party standard – the Verified Carbon Standard.
This particular project was chosen because of Steve’s connections with Borneo and his visit there in Ep 6.