We are thrilled to announce that Sacha Dench will be the Saturday night headline speaker at this year’s Migfest! Her talk, “Finding your Wings - What You Learn Flying with Birds on Migration,” will be based on the migration of Bewick’s Swans and Ospreys.

Sacha is a pioneering conservationist, record-breaking adventurer, and inspirational speaker. With her global experiences in conservation, time spent with people in the Arctic, and losing her family home in the 2020 Australian bushfires, Sacha can make a compelling case for immediate action on climate change, biodiversity, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Her real-world perspective on the interconnectedness of people, planet, and resources provides a unique insight into what sustainable procurement should really mean and how to do it better. When invited to set up a film unit for the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in the UK, Sacha knew she had to get herself and her camera airborne to work in remote areas. But to do that, she would need to tackle her debilitating fear of flying head-on.

Sacha dealt with that fear, learned to fly, and went on to become the “human swan,” migrating over 4,000 miles from Arctic Russia – the land of the nomadic reindeer herders – to the UK, dangling thousands of feet in the air from a piece of fabric, with a propeller on her back. Her mission? To find out why the birds were declining so fast and generate a wave of support for helping save them from people all along their flyway.

A scientist and passionate storyteller, her ground-breaking expedition “Flight of the Swans” saw her flying by paramotor from Arctic Russia across 11 countries to the UK to help save the Bewick’s swan and inspire millions of people to help. In 2020, she was made a UN Ambassador for Migratory Species.

Sacha’s recent awards include the 2020 Green Swan Award (along with the Eden Project’s Tim Smit), the 2018 Britannia Trophy for the most meritorious performance in aviation (previously awarded to Sir Richard Branson and the Red Arrows and not won by a woman since 1967), Woman of the Year 2017, and the Environment Campaign of the Year 2017, among others. She has competed for Britain and Australia in freediving (breaking a world record in training) and holds the record for the First Channel Crossing by Paramotor for a woman. Sacha has spoken to audiences from a president to army troops, to the United Nations and auditoriums of school children. She combines exploration and two decades of communications experience in the private, public, and NGO sectors to inspire, challenge, and motivate.

Tickets for the Andy Roadhouse Memorial Lecture are included in the Weekend Packages (The Whooper and The Full Monty’s). If you a just attening for the Saturday, you’ll need to purchase the lecture ticket in addition to your entry pass.

You can find out more about Sacha’s amazing work by visiting or on Twitter -

Tickets go on sale at 12pm on Friday 21st April via the Spurn shop -

21 April 2023


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Spurn Bird Observatory, Kilnsea Road, Kilnsea, Hull, HU12 0UB