Jenny Holden


Art Gene increasingly works through multidisciplinary teams; extending our knowledge base, expertise and the rigor of the research behind our projects. Jenny has become a regular member of Art Gene’s associate team making invaluable contributions to a range of recent events and discussions delivered through our Design Cafe programme.

Art Gene’s approach begins with in-depth consultation and educational activities within communities, local authorities and regeneration agencies aimed at creating a route to environmentally aware future focussed design-led projects with an ear to the ground.

Our approach leads us to uncover hidden histories, unrecognised amenities, hidden architectural assets, ecosystems and cultures before attempting to re-frame, re-seed, draw out and give form to often long-standing unrealised aspirations.

Image above: Consultation Event on Piel Island, including the artwork Some Days All This Is Yours, by Jo Ray

Jenny Holden (UK)

Ecologist Jenny Holden has been running training courses for organisations and teaching in universities since 2005. Her clients have included University of Central LancsUniversity of Cumbria, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Stirling University. Jenny’s degree is in Biology and Science Communication which gave her a very good grounding in how to communicate science to a wider audience.

Jenny has lectured on Ecology, Wildlife Legislation, Vertebrate Evolution, World Ecology and Conservation Strategy, UK Agriculture and Conservation, Ecological Survey Techniques, British Owls, Beaver Ecology and Reintroductions, Otters, British Bats, Water Vole Conservation and Ecology, Barn Owl Foraging Ecology, and many other subjects.

Animal mad from a young age, Jenny was signed up as a Cumbria Wildlife Trust volunteer by the age of four and the organisation has been part of her life ever since. Jenny gained a 2:1 BSc (Hons) in Biology and Science Communication from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2002. She spent two summers as an Expedition Journalist working with Biosphere Expeditions in Peru and Ukraine, writing for publications such as The Times, Land Rover Magazine and Global Adventure.

Jenny’s first full time job was UK Conservation Officer for the World Owl Trust. During her time there she chaired a symposium on Owl Conservation at the 1st European Congress of Conservation Biology in Hungary; her work on Barn Owls has been recognised internationally. Jenny worked for three years as Water Vole Conservation Project Officer for Cumbria Wildlife Trust before moving to Knapdale, Argyll to take up the post of Scottish Beaver Trial Field Officer, playing a key role in this major reintroduction study. Jenny is a trained Bat Worker and Bird-ringer.


Students from Furness College spent a day beach combing with Jenny Holden and artist Jo Ray. Students gathered and identified a wide range of items collected for inclusion in the Piel Island Museum of Curiosities. The collection forms part of a new visitor centre in the Ship Inn on Piel Island which Art Gene are developing through Barrow-by-Design a range of design-led regeneration projects in association with Barrow Borough Council.

Every Item was carefully identified with Jenny’s help; recorded, bagged and labelled with the details of where and when it was found. Jenny will support artist Jo Ray in creating an informed narrative around the final display of these any many other items in the cabinet of curiosities, including those on loan from a range of local people, organisations and businesses.

External Links

Jenny Holden, Wilde Ecology 
Piel Island

Image below: Jenny Holden discusses the ecology of the coastline with participants on a walk from Barrow Cemetery to Lowsy Point where lunch was provided in Stuart Bastik’s Eco Shed (a former fisherman’s cabin).

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