Happy Birthday Sir David

Sunday 8th May 2016

Sir David Attenborough visiting Worcestershire Wildlife TrustSir David Attenborough visiting Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

While the majority may know him best from his television programmes, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is joining Wildlife Trusts across the country to celebrate Sir David’s dedication to nature conservation in the UK over more than five decades.

The Wildlife Trusts will be celebrating key moments online – from Sir David’s opening of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s Gibraltar Point visitor centre in 1974 and the success of the British Wildlife Appeal to his most recent launch of London’s landmark nature reserve, Woodberry Wetlands - and many more!

Find out more about Sir David’s involvement with The Wildlife Trusts, by visiting www.wildlifetrusts.org/Attenborough90

Sir David Attenborough led The Wildlife Trusts’ British Wildlife Appeal (BWA) in 1985. Using the strap line ‘Tomorrow is too late’, the appeal’s target was to raise £10 million over five years. The aim was to buy and care for land with endangered species and declining habitats; to give everyone a chance to get to know and enjoy wildlife in town and country; and to promote greater public awareness of the threats to wildlife.

Sir David took on a gruelling 14-day tour and his lectures were heard by many thousands of people. The British Wildlife Appeal raised £16m for nature conservation around the UK – that’s equivalent to £46m in today’s money!

Appeal for Lower Smite Farm with David AttenboroughIn 1990, Sir David reflected: “The winds of change were with us. There has been an extraordinary awakening. Even the Prime Minister was commenting on conservation. The situation has got so much worse; everyone now sees that the wood over the hill is threatened and that the hedgerows have gone. We are all much more concerned about the environment. However… almost more important than the money, was the way that numerous people throughout the land worked together to save their local countryside.”

More than a quarter of a century later, and one week before his 90th birthday, Sir David Attenborough launched London Wildlife Trust’s Woodberry Wetlands nature reserve, where he said: “Contact with the natural world isn't a luxury... it is actually a necessity for all of us.

"All we know about the natural world gives us pleasure, delight, expertise, continuous interest throughout the year - joy on many occasions and solace on sad ones. Knowing about the natural world and being in contact with the natural world is the most precious inheritance that human beings can have.

“We should be grateful indeed for all the work that The Wildlife Trusts have done for children to see the seasons as they pass, to see not just asphalt and concrete and brick - but reeds and willows; to see birds coming up from Africa; to hear above the hubbub of the traffic - birdsong; to catch a glimpse of a kingfisher, one of the most wonderful sights that Britain has to offer - that flash of blue as it flies up-river.”

Worcestershire visits

Eades Meadow campaignSir David last paid a visit to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust in 1993 when he opened Foster's Green Meadows National Nature Reserve.  He had previously inaugurated the nature reserve in 1985.

In 1989 Sir David was Guest of Honour at an appeal luncheon to purchase Lower Smite Farm for the Trust.

Sir David also delivered a talk in 1985, as part of a UK fundraising tour, entitled 'Travels of a Naturalist'.

David Attenborough in Worcestershire

Tagged with: Centenary & anniversaries, Sir David Attenborough