Marie Banks – 20+ years’ experience
Proofreading, copy editing & creative copy writing
Interpretation planning and exhibit design, including access & audience plans
Visitor centre planning, including feasibility, fundraising support, operational plans and training
“I am passionate about wildlife and our natural heritage, about helping people uncover hidden stories from our past, and about engaging and empowering young people in STEM subjects… but I’ll find a story in anything and interpret it appropriately for the audience.”
Marie holds a degree in Biological Sciences and is a member of Interpret Europe – the European Association for Heritage Interpretation, the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) and World Heritage UK. Her knowledge, along with practical experience in wildlife conservation, zoo animal keeping and visitor attraction management, has been applied to create engaging and innovative interpretive visitor experiences in the UK and abroad.
Marie was the Exhibition Manager for Wildwalk, a wildlife attraction and part of the At-Bristol Science Centre (now We The Curious), where she was responsible for the operation of a botanical house and multiple live animal displays as well as content for multimedia and hands-on exhibits and a suite of travelling exhibitions, engaging a range of audiences from the early years and families to schools and adult independent learners.
As a senior member of WWT Consulting, the consultancy wing of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), Marie’s experience was applied to visitor centre planning and interpretation projects worldwide to integrate people with wildlife and natural heritage. Projects included the Cors Dyfi Biosphere Reserve in Wales, Landguard Visitor Centre in England, Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre and Ballycroy National Park Visitor Centre in Ireland, the Vallée de Mai UNESCO World Heritage Site in Seychelles, and masterplans for visitor centres in the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, South Korea, China and the USA. With visitor centre operational experience, Marie was able to offer on-going support and staff training in addition to applying her skills and knowledge to the initial design and implementation phases.
Marie has completed CPD training with the UK Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI), the Visitor Studies Group (VSG) and the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) and has delivered training workshops and presented at the annual conferences of the US National Association for Interpretation (NAI) and Interpret Europe – the European Association for Heritage Interpretation. She is an active member of and currently the News Coordinator for Interpret Europe, which involves editing articles from members from over 40 countries to produce a quarterly newsletter and editing and producing the annual conference proceedings as well as supporting the Social Media Coordinator and Managing Director in other communications and operation of the organisation.
Marie has an interest in the conservation of built and cultural heritage and is actively involved in restoring a derelict chapel in west Wales and recording the social history of the local mining community there. She also has a passion for travel and writing. Her first full length book to be edited and published was Driving Dark Africa – The journey of an accidental adventurer.
When not at her desk, Marie can be found exploring the outdoors, either on foot or by mountain bike, or floating above it all in her hot air balloon, which is used as a tool to interpret science and other STEM subjects to schools and other groups.