Posted 10th Feb 2016 by Peter Byrne
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has helped reopen the home of the 'patron saint of conservation', Sir Peter Scott
The target of raising £6m for the project was set by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), and the HLF has contributed £4.4m towards the target.
Sir Peter's home is situated in Gloucestershire and was the site of the BBC's first ever natural history programme in May 1953, which was presented by Peter from his studio lounge.
The house also plays a key part in the story of modern conservation, as it was there that the global system for designating species as threatened, endangered or extinct was drawn up. Scott himself also helped to found the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust (WWF), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the IUCN Species Survival Commission amongst other organisations that have helped prevent the extinction of animals.
It is through the HLF's grant that the house will be renovated and will enable the public to find out about the house's history. There will also be a chance to tour the grounds, which are home to one of the world's biggest collection of water birds, including species such as the Hawaiian goose that Sir Peter helped prevent the extinction of.
Sir David Attenborough, who was inspired by Sir Peter's work, said: “Peter is and always will be the patron saint of conservation. Long before words like ‘biodiversity’ were coined, Peter looked out from that huge window in his house at Slimbridge and realised our lives are so linked with our natural world that we have to learn to love it and look after it. I think it’s wonderful that absolutely anyone will be able to sit in that same window in future years and feel just as inspired.”
Images courtesy of WWT