Prince Charles has recently visited the headquarters and first centre of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust(WWT) at Slimbridge to help celebrate the 70th anniversary of its creation. The WWT was founded by Sir Peter Scott in the grounds of his home, as part of his visit the Prince was given a guided tour of the house which has been preserved since the death of Sir Peter in August 1989 just short of his 80th birthday.
The Prince described the work of Sir Peter, who was the son of the Antarctic explorer Robert Scott, as a great achievement. Indeed, it is something that was recognised the World over with him receiving a knighthood for services to the conservation of wild animals, and the Gold Medal of the World Wildlife Fund and the J Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Award in 1986.
In the 70 years since the founding of the Trust in 1946 in Slimbridge, just after WWII, the Trust has grown to the point where it now has ten wetland centres spread across all four counties in the United Kingdom from Dumfriesshire to West Sussex, and County Down to Norfolk. The Prince described the work of the Trust as very exciting, not only is the Trust working hard for birds on its own sites, it is also encouraging people around the country to take individual ownership of conservation where they can.
As head of the Duchy of Cornwall, which has several tenant farms within its portfolio, no doubt the Prince who is the President of the WWT took great interest in a recent award given by the Trust. At the recent AGM of the WWT, Richard Waddingham, a farmer from Norfolk, received the Marsh Award for Wetland Creation for his work on his farm for wetland creation. Although his 243-hectare farm in North Norfolk is intensively farmed, he has since the 1950’s managed the land and water resources by traditional methods. To that end, he has encouraged the natural creation of over forty spring-fed ponds which provide a habitat with high water quality which is invaluable for bio-diversity.