Sacha is an Australian-born conservationist, adventurer and motivational speaker. She works for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in the UK. Over the past 20 years, Berwick swan numbers have nearly halved with just 20,000 remaining in the wild but experts are unsure what is causing the population crash. Sacha had an idea to investigate the problem, which she though was crazy at first.
However, after 18 months of planning in the winter of 2016, Sacha decided to followed their entire 7,000 km migration route from Arctic Russia to the UK. She did this by flying with the birds on a paramotor. Essentially hanging from a paraglider with a propellor on her back!
During this podcast, we learn more about her early life, growing up in Australia, before moving over to the UK. Sacha also shares more about her life as a champion free-diver! She provides advice and top tips that you’ll be able to apply to your next challenge or adventure!
Who is Sacha Dench?
Growing upon Sydney and spending a lot of time outdoors
Moving to the bush with her mum, having a very basic upbringing
Getting comfortable being out in remote places
How she got to school!
Moving to the UK
Never really being into sports
Working out that she was very good at holding her breath!
Free diving and how it came about..
Free diving in the UK?
Understanding more about Free Diving - what it is and what it’s like being under the water
Learning to understand how your body behaves while doing ‘breath holds’
Learning how to stay calm and to keep adrenaline under control
The transferable skills of free diving - such as mind control and keeping calm
The reason - Declining swan numbers making the migration from arctic Russia to northern Europe. From 29,000 in 1995 to just 18,000 in 2010.
How the idea started to form….and why she sat of the idea for a couple of months.
Having 18 months to plan and prepare and why she really needed another year to plan and prepare
The challenges she had to face and overcome
Dealing with the negativity and criticism for her idea
The power of connections and why one person can make a difference
Doing her research in Russia and developing local partners!
The start, heading up to the Arctic!
The call of the swans and being accepted as a lead bird
What is it like flying in a Paramotor?
What was learned about the decline of the swans and the exciting discoveries made along the way
The kindness of strangers and the impact Sacha was having by meeting individuals on the journey
Being the first women to fly over the English Channel!
The next challenge (Spring 2019)- planning to fly around the UK and maybe Ireland!
A book and film is on the way!
Website - www.sachadench.com
Instagram - @sacha_dench
Twitter - @sachadench