TV presenter and author Kate Humble talks about becoming president of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), and her favourite part of the British coastline, the Gower Peninsula. Interview: Alex Reece

I love the visceral connection with the elements that you get on the coast. I've spent some time living in South Africa and there is something very compelling about having high land and coastal land side by side – and that's also what you get on the Gower Peninsula, in South Wales.

It's an extraordinary area, partly because a lot of the land there is protected, so it's not a place of seaside towns and kiss-me-quick hats. It's quite a wild coastline. Sometimes, we've taken people down there and they can't quite believe they're in Britain, with two-and-a-half to three miles of uninterrupted, fantastic sand. Then you've got this wonderful moorland – a lot of it rising up behind the coast – with Welsh ponies and sheep.
What I enjoy about walking along a beach after a big storm is that you see all the different types of seaweed, the starfish and the shellfish, and then that brings in the birdlife, too. One of the things that I've been battling to get across for years is that the sea isn't just an empty bucket of water, it's one of the most vibrant wildlife habitats we have.

I have been a WWT supporter for a very long time, and that's why, when they asked me to be vice-president quite a number of years ago, I was absolutely delighted. Now they've asked me to be president and it does feel like an enormous, slightly overwhelming honour, to be honest! It's such a relevant organisation now. We are seeing more and more extremes of weather, and one of those extremes we hear a lot about is flooding. Really good wetland management can have an enormous benefit.

My book is called Thinking on my Feet – The small joy of putting one foot in front of the other. It's about how this very simple, free activity can make such a difference. Obviously it talks about many of my favourite parts of the country where I walk – including the coast, and particularly Gower. But what I hope it will do is inspire people to try and spend half an hour a day on their feet, away from a phone, away from a screen, just being with nature, allowing themselves to notice the small things that are very enriching.

Thinking on my Feet by Kate Humble is published by Aster (£20, hardback). For more on the work of WWT, see: