My Dad — a British conservation hero!

BBC Wildlife Magazine’s Power List was published in the May issue of their magazine, and featured big names such as Chris Packham, Helen MacDonald and David Attenborough — all fab people. But among the top 50 British conservation heroes, at least one guy was missing: my Dad.

Here’s me and him! A photo taken a few months ago on the (very rained upon) London Eye.

He’s among what I reckon must be an army of local heroes, busy-beeing up and down the length of the UK, taking positive steps for wildlife because they know it’s good and they enjoy the effects.

For example, he used savings to buy a patch of land behind our house, and in the past few years has:

  1. turned the stream from a dark, lifeless stretch of water to a bubbling brook featuring areas open to the sky, dams, deep sections and wider shallower parts — we’ve seen otters and kingfishers on it, and plenty of fish and amphibians
  2. managed the grassland successfully (no mean feat) so that we observe copious numbers of species including orange-tip butterflies, voles, and birds of prey, not to mention the wildflowers and meadow grasses, through which is mown a series of interconnecting paths so we (and the dogs, and the rabbits in their pen that, yep, he made) can enjoy the field
  3. installed numerous bat boxes, bird boxes, owl boxes and insect houses
  4. created a large, productive allotment area including greenhouses and compost heaps, drastically reducing our house’s food environmental footprint, and providing extra habitats for animals
  5. planted hundreds upon hundreds of trees (all with canes, spiral guards, mulch and weeding requirements of course), making two hedges and a large woodland section which supports a humming community of passerines and small mammals
  6. spent hours reading up on materials to help him do all of the above, been rained upon, stung by wasps and bees, held funerals for dead pets (then planted trees over them — gotta make use of that circle of life) injured from tool overuse — all of this while juggling a full-time job, other interests such as long-distance running and a very busy family life

This isn’t to mention his career in landscape architecture, which can involve working with ecologists and mitigation procedures to ensure wildlife isn’t short-changed by development.

So a HUGE thank you goes to my Dad; not just for inspiring me to have a love of nature that defines my life today, but for shaping our environment in incredible ways: a true British conservation hero. Happy Father’s Day.

Thank you very much for reading this blog post. I’d love to hear stories of the dad or conservation hero in your life! I can be found on Twitter, @BeccaLaBee.

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