David Gower’s tales of cricket and wildlife at Norwich event

David Gower, Simon Barnes and Bill Oddie at the World Land Trust evening at Blackfriars Hall in Norwich yesterday evening. Photo: Bill Smith David Gower, Simon Barnes and Bill Oddie at the World Land Trust evening at Blackfriars Hall in Norwich yesterday evening. Photo: Bill Smith

Kim Briscoe kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk
Thursday, September 4, 2014
6:30 AM

A shared passion for wildlife and sport brought three personalities together for an evening of anecdotes and witticisms in Norwich last night.

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David Gower, Simon Barnes and Bill Oddie at the World Land Trust evening at Blackfriars Hall in Norwich yesterday evening. Photo: Bill SmithDavid Gower, Simon Barnes and Bill Oddie at the World Land Trust evening at Blackfriars Hall in Norwich yesterday evening. Photo: Bill Smith

Former England cricket captain David Gower was at Blackfriars’ Hall to reflect on a lifetime’s love of cricket and wildlife as part of a tour to mark the 25th anniversary of the World Land Trust, of which he is a patron.

Sharing the stage with the renowned batsman, and asking the questions, were sport and wildlife journalist Simon Barnes and television presenter Bill Oddie.

All three work closely with the World Land Trust to promote its work across the globe to protect important habitats and wildlife.

Mr Gower, who first developed a love of nature growing up in East Africa, said: “It’s lovely to have wildlife on your doorstep, such as in this particular part of the world, which I don’t know so well. But if you are at all concerned about what happens to wildlife in general then in other parts of the world they are running out of time and it never does any harm to let people know about it.”

Mr Gower said he used some of his free time on cricket tours to visit nature reserves around the world and that is why he wanted to get involved with the international conservation charity.

Speaking before the event, Mr Oddie said the lighthearted evening was also a chance to “remind people that wildlife people do have other interests” and said he would be particularly keen to quiz Mr Gower about his cricket career.

Mr Barnes, who has written books about sport and wildlife, said he had moved to the Broads in Norfolk so he could enjoy some of the area’s wonderful birds. He said while many people come to Norfolk for its rich wildlife and are keen to protect it, other places around the world are not fortunate.

“The more difficult challenge is to get people in developing countries to relate to their own wildlife,” he said. “The World Land Trust works with highly motivated but cash-strapped organisations in developing countries, with fantastic people who love the place and are deeply committed to their wildlife.”

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