Sir David Attenborough has visited WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre to pay tribute to his old friend, WWT founder Sir Peter Scott.
The two broadcasters became close in the 1950s and 1960s, when Peter presented “Look” and David presented “Zooquest” for BBC television.
Sir David is now a WWT Vice President. He spent an hour visiting Peter Scott’s famous studio – the location for the BBC’s first ever live wildlife programmes – where he remembered them sharing their experiences and plans together. He kindly gave his time to recount their years together on film, for the benefit of visitors to the studio when it opens to the public in 2020.
Sir David Attenborough said:
“Sixty years ago we thought the world was so big that there was no danger that human beings could interfere with the wild world, or risk exterminating a species. Peter Scott was one of the first naturalists to recognise that if human beings didn’t take care, they could actually exterminate most species.
He was also very remarkable because he had great skill and great energy in getting people worldwide to recognise the problem, and to give money to it, and get the conservation movement going. So, he was one of the founders of conservation, not just in the UK, but in the world.”
Sir David delighted visitors and members at Slimbridge by walking through the grounds to be filmed birdwatching and feeding swans with children who’d visited that day. Our wonderful volunteers by the Toad Hall amphibian exhibit had a particularly nice surprise when Sir David appeared and spent several minutes talking to them about the poison dart frogs.
He also provided a nice surprise to conservation research staff as he stopped in their office doorways to say hello on the way past!
WWT’s full interview with Sir David will be used as part of a redevelopment of WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre in 2020, which will include Sir Peter Scott’s house being opened to the public for the first time.
But the interview was so good, and covered so many topics, that we’ll be revealing parts of it over the coming months – so look out for more Attenborough magic to come.