Category Archives: Public health

Interviews with those working in health and public health

Richard Smith talking walking

Although quite a few inches shorter than Andrew Stuck, Richard Smith was one of the few people Andrew has interviewed who has walked faster than he does.  Andrew had to stop a couple of times while recording the interview just to catch his breath!  Not only a fast walker, Richard is someone who packs a lot into one life: a gynaecology cancer consultant and surgeon, internationally acclaimed womb-transplant specialist, academic author and father of four.  However, it is his enthusiasm for walking long distances, chanting while walking, and discovering pilgrimage sites that has drawn Andrew to him.

Andrew was introduced to him by one of his neighbours, fellow Scot, Tim Ingram-Smith whom Andrew has also interviewed previously for Talking Walking, and who invited Andrew to the book launch of one of Richard’s books: The Journey: Spirituality, Pilgrimage, Chant.

Garroch Head, Bute: a ‘thin place’ & place of pilgrimage

Richard accompanies Andrew on a short walk along the Regent’s Canal and within the breadth of their conversation, they discuss the value to him of walking, chant and walking in silence, as well as the benefits that walking can bring to women as they grow older, whether cancer sufferers or not. 22’48” 10.7MB

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Bibi Calderaro talking walking

Participant on a sensory walk

On a Skype call, Andrew Stuck talks to Bibi Calderaro, an Argentinian artist and forest therapist, living in Brooklyn, USA, who has recently devised a number of sensory walks on behalf of the US National Park Service in 2015/6. She explains her own practice and how it has evolved, and what are the key elements that she includes in her sensory walks, that tackle the urban maladies of stress and anxiety, and the reaction of participants to them. Such has been the demand for her walks, she has been recommissioned to devise more. Our conversation also explores ‘shinrin-yoku’ the Japanese healing practice of ‘forest bathing’, that as an accredited forest therapist, Bibi has been incorporating in her practice. 23’20” 10.9MB

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview with Bibi_Calderaro

Maggie O’Neill talking walking

Maggie O’Neill is a leading academic researcher in criminology and sociology.  Walking is a key element of her ethnographic research into the lives of asylum seekers, the homeless, refugees and sex workers in England’s northern cities.

Maggie walking on Lindisfarne

A recent recipient of a Leverhulme Scholarship, she invited those she had encountered through her research to walk with her, along and across borders of significance in their everyday lives.

Andrew Stuck caught up with Maggie on a brief visit of hers to London. Just as they set our for a walk, the heavens opened, and they sought shelter, so the interview took place in a crowded hotel lobby. 20’05” 9.4MB

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview with Maggie_O’Neill

Lise Pape talking walking

Path Feel

Imagine inventing and developing a product that will improve the lives of thousands of people.  That would be an exciting and satisfying prospect. Imagine you develop two at the same time…..  Andrew Stuck was lucky enough to meet and record this interview with just a such a person.  Danish-born innovation design engineer and now med-tech entrepreneur, Lise Pape, with her Path-Finder and Path-Feel shoe accessories, is developing products that will help Parkinson’s sufferers,

Path Finder user test

those with diabetes, and other sensory neuropathy conditions, to improve their mobility and quite probably extend their lives.  We talk as we walk across Clapham Common, early one sunny morning, with the background sounds of commuting traffic and groups trying to get fit. 22’19” 10.5MB

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview with Lise_Pape

Kristie Daniel talking walking

Kristie Daniel

Kristie Daniel

Kristie Daniel is Programme Director for the Liveable Cities Programme delivered by Healthbridge a Canadian NGO. healthbridge-logo Healthbridge were multi-award winners in the 2015 Walk21 Visionary Awards, for projects in developing countries in Asia and Africa, where they are working with local groups to create public spaces and improve non-motorised access to them.

Andrew Stuck, producer of Talking Walking, caught up with Kristie as she stopped over in London, on a journey from Toronto to Bangkok. The interview was recorded in March 2016 on a walk through Margravine Cemetery, a popular public space in Hammersmith, beneath the flight path to and from Heathrow. 26’22” 12.4MB

Download notes from the podcast interview with Kristie_Daniel

What has happened since the interview

“Since the interview was recorded, we have continued to work on all the great projects that I spoke about in the interview.  The HoiAn Master Plan is currently being implemented.  The city has planned for 79 new parks that are within walking distance of residents.  The city has thus far achieved 40% of that targeted number of parks.  In Kathmandu, the success of Ktm Walks has lead to the creation of a one kilometre permanent pedestrian space in Thamel.  This was a huge success for the local project.

In addition, we have been able to greatly expand our projects in Africa thanks to a grant from UN-Habitat.  In Africa—like in many other places in the world—public spaces are used for public life, commerce and interaction. However, lack of funds, planning, and maintenance, as well as priority for motorized vehicles, has turned many public spaces into unsafe, unforgiving and unconnected places. Many public spaces are difficult to access, especially for those living in vulnerable situations.

This is especially the case in Kampala, Uganda, Niamey, Niger and Accra, Ghana. There is a significant lack of formal public spaces in each of these cities, particularly in the outlying areas where the slum settlements are located. Of those spaces that do exist, they are degraded, of poor quality, and under constant threat of being developed into other purposes.

To address this issue, HealthBridge is working with local partners to  implement pilot public space projects in Kampala, Niamey, and Accra.  These spaces will improve local policies, plans and designs for safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces.  The final results of this project should be available in May.”

Adam Shaw talking walking


An interview with Adam Shaw, who having worked for 13 years on the ‘front line’ of the NHS as a nurse on a heart ward, has used his experiences there to develop Walk Innovation, a health and personal development programme to help people overcome stress and avoid heart disease. WalkInnovationlogoThe interview was recorded on a walk around St Albans on a sunny afternoon in May 2011. 19’48” 9.3MB

Download notes from the interview with Adam_Shaw

What has Adam Shaw done since our interview?

Adam Shaw has gone on to write “The Lunatic Gene – How to make sense of your life.

“ I’m targeting stress at work these days, as well as running my own alternative business networking group – join me.“


Ben Rossiter talking walking


VitoriaWalkslogoBen Rossiter, Executive Officer of Victoria Walks, an Australian walking promotion body based in the state of Victoria, accompanies Andrew Stuck from Rethinking Cities on a walk from London’s Covent Garden across the Thames. 20′ 30″ 9.6MB

Download notes of items mentioned in this interview: Ben_Rossiter

Dawn Vernon talking walking


An interview with Dawn Vernon, who played an instrumental part in the development of the Walking for Health project. WfHlogoThe interview was recorded on a walk across the Wiltshire Downs near Salisbury in April, 2010. 20′ 53″ 9.8MB

Download notes form the interview with Dawn_Vernon



What Dawn has done since our interview

“I retired in 2010 having spent 12 years working with the Countryside Agency to develop and support the ‘Walking for Health Initiative’ throughout the UK. It is heartening to see that this work continues  (through Macmillan and the Ramblers) and that there are over 1800 weekly walks. In addition, the work that was started in 1997,  in the shape of ‘Doorstep Walks’ (in Salisbury) continues across the county of Wiltshire as ‘Get Wiltshire Walking’. I walk regularly and in 2017 completed a challenge for Cystic Fibrosis by walking 1000 miles and climbing 3 Welsh Peaks; we raised £1500 for this very worthwhile charity (our 2 year old grand-daughter has the condition).”

William Bird talking walking


Dr William Bird MBE, the creator of health walks, joins Andrew Stuck on a walk around St James’ Park London on a bright January day. In this interview William tells us about how he prescribing health walks to his patients in a diabetic clinic has evolved into a national campaign to get us all outdoors. IntelligentHealthlogoStill practising as a GP, Dr Bird has set up Intelligent Health, a consultancy advising on the delivery of physical activity to organisations including schools. 22’05″10.4MB

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What has happened to Dr William Bird since our interview

Dr William Bird MBE set up Intelligent Health in February 2010 with the vision of making a lasting difference to people’s health and wellbeing by supporting them to become more active.

With more than three decades of experience in practising medicine and first-hand knowledge of the need to develop preventative measures to stop people developing diabetes and COPD, William is one of the UK’s leading experts on physical activity and building active communities.

William has helped transform the health of millions of people across the UK through innovative initiatives he has developed such as Health Walks, Green Gyms and Beat the Street. He has worked for the World Health Organisation to develop a physical activity strategy for the Middle East which is now being implemented in many of the countries there and also worked on an innovative project for the Met Office, developing Health Forecasting and still works as a family GP.

Veronica Reynolds talking walking


Andrew Stuck joins Veronica Reynolds, from Walk England, on her local walking route accompanied by Beans & Sparky her two Jack Russell terriers. The valley through which we walk is dissected by the main Great Western rail line, and the ambience is interrupted by trains, boats on the Thames and the occasional aircraft. Recorded on a clear day in August 2009. 23’23” 11MB

Download notes of items mentioned in this episode: Veronica Reynolds.

Tony Armstrong talking walking


Tony Armstrong of Living Streets, LSlogoBritain’s leading campaigners on behalf of the pedestrian talks about how they are lobbying the government for better streets. This interview was recorded in December 2008. 19’24” 9.1 MB

Download notes of items mentioned in this episode: Tony Armstrong

STOP PRESS: In July 2014, Tony Armstrong left Living Streets to become the CEO of Locality