December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
He has spent the majority of his 80 years involved with environmental projects around the world.
And yesterday, professor David Bellamy OBE said he was determined to live to 100 to make sure he could see the benefits of the “fantastic” environmental work of a Norfolk conservation trust.
Mr Bellamy was one of two world-famous environmental campaigners to attend the annual general meeting of the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust at Pensthorpe Wildlife and Gardens, near Fakenham, along with Dr George Archibald CM, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation.
Mr Bellamy is chairman of the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust and Mr Archibald, who is from Canada and lives in Wisconsin, is a trustee.
Both men have visited Pensthorpe many times.
Mr Bellamy said: “I’ve been coming here for a long time and I’ve enjoyed it every time.
“All over the world we are losing species. I read a newspaper article recently which said elephants could be extinct within 10 years.
“I’ve been around the world 21 times now and it is frightening to visit certain places and not know what species will still be there next time I go there.
“It is vitally important that the next generation becomes involved in conservation work.
“Pensthorpe appeals to young people and old people and it helps them to learn about nature in a fun way and become passionate about it.
“I’m 80 now and may not be around much longer but I am determined to live to 100 so I can admire the results of the fantastic work that is being done here.”
The Pensthorpe Conservation Trust was formed in 2003 to carry forward the work of its predecessor, the Pensthorpe Waterfowl Trust; and to establish a centre of excellence in ecological restoration.
Its focus is the captive breeding of threatened species, particularly those associated with wetlands, such as cranes and wildfowl.
The trust also focuses on ecologically sustainable farming and habitat restoration and management.
Mr Archibald, who flew in from America to attend the meeting, said: “Excellent progress is being made at Pensthorpe in its work with several endangered species including corncrakes, red squirrels and Eurasian cranes and it is all very impressive and good to see.”
The future of the trust, ways in which it can encourage young people to be more involved in nature conservation and the conservation of species including turtle doves, corncrakes and red squirrels were all discussed at yesterday’s meeting.
Tim Nevard OAM, a trustee of Pensthorpe Conservation Trust, said: “All of these species are in trouble and need our help.
“But the trust is in a good state with a bright future and it is becoming more and more well respected.
“To have professor David Bellamy, one of the most famous conservationists in the world, as our chairman is just amazing.
“Dr George Archibald is also one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in conservation in the world, particularly when it comes to cranes.
“To have these two big names in the world of conservation supporting our work here at this little trust in Norfolk is a huge honour and it shows how we are punching above our weight.”