Sheffield environmental journalist and academic to appear in TV show with Joanna Lumley

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A Sheffield environmental journalist and academic hopes his TV appearance alongside Joanna Lumley will draw more attention to the work his charity does and address some ‘really concerning’ issues.

Maxwell Ayamba, project coordinator at Sheffield Environmental Movement, and Joanna, who is a patron, recorded the program at Gordale Scar in North Yorkshire in September, where they walked, and talked about the charity’s work.

The segment features on the first episode of Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home which will be broadcast on February 2.

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Maxwell said: “Having Joanna as the second patron will help publicise the organisation. Acknowledging the good work we do is a great compliment. To realise what work we do and to agree without hesitation is a big achievement. We are very grateful.”

Maxwell Ayamba and Joanna Lumley OBE in North Yorkshire.Maxwell Ayamba and Joanna Lumley OBE in North Yorkshire.
Maxwell Ayamba and Joanna Lumley OBE in North Yorkshire.

He believes Joanna’s involvement with the charity will help put it ‘in the limelight’.

Maxwell told how a phone call out of the blue last year led to him taking part in the show with Joanna, who he describes as ‘a very good person’.

It was their long conversations that resulted in her ‘gladly’ becoming a patron of the charity.

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With the support of the first patron, Kate Ashbrook - a renowned campaigner - too, it is hoped that more attention will now be brought to some ‘real concerning’ issues surrounding countryside access.

Maxwell told how the current debate regarding the Government’s proposals to make trespass a criminal offence was of major concern.

Various organisations have written to the Government in protest, as they believe such action would change how people access and enjoy green spaces.

Maxwell said: “The countryside should be for anyone but now it may be a criminal offence. Most BME people are not aware of the rights of way or rules and that is really concerning.

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“On one hand, the Government is promoting access for everyone with the 25 Year Environment Plan, and on the other hand, this criminal trespass Bill will discourage people to go out.

“It is extreme and unnecessary.”

He explained that the system needs to be more robust.

“Laws have to be made very clear for people to understand,” Maxwell added.

Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home starts on ITV1 on February 2 at 8pm.

For more information about Sheffield Environmental Movement, visit:

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.

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