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Bill Oddie to Receive Peter Scott Memorial Award

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CORBY, Northamptonshire, April 26 /PRNewswire/ --

- British Naturalists' Association Centenary Conference Recognises Oddie's Contribution to our Understanding of Conservation

Well-known broadcaster and naturalist Bill Oddie will receive the British Naturalists' Association's Peter Scott Memorial Award on Saturday 14 May at the BNA's Nature over Time centenary conference at Cressing Temple, Braintree, Essex, in recognition of his great contribution to our understanding of natural history and conservation. This conference is part of a major natural history weekend event, which is open to the public and plays host to the BNA's findings from 100 years of wildlife study, as well as research findings from organisations including DEFRA. David Bellamy, celebrated botanist, writer and broadcaster, is President of the BNA and will chair the conference and present Bill Oddie with his award. The event also includes natural history workshops, a gala concert, art exhibition, and on Sunday 15 May, celebrations of the tercentenary of natural scientist John Ray.

Bill Oddie is leading the BBC's Springwatch mass nature observation project, to help identify if climate change is affecting animals and plants in our countryside. Public interest in natural history and nature observation with changing seasons ('phenology') is being given a tremendous boost by this project.

"We want to encourage people of all ages to go out and enjoy the unique wildlife that Britain has to offer, as well as learn about nature from television programmes," said Roger Tabor, Chairman of the BNA. "This event is a celebration of wildlife, and will really help people get to know nature with practical experience. But it also brings together key experts on the vital issue of whether changing patterns of wildlife events do indicate climate change."

The conference focuses on findings from long-term phenological records, from which risks of global warming will be able to be better assessed. In addition to the BNA's own records are presentations by eminent speakers from organisations including the UK Phenology Network and DEFRA, which has stressed the importance of long-term observations. The presentations will be followed by a debate into the research unveiled and the views raised.

Notes to Editors

    
    - Bookings

    Prices for the event (per person) are:
    Saturday day ticket: adults GBP20, children GBP10.
    Sunday day ticket: adults GBP12.50, GBP7.50.

    Gala concert on Saturday 15 May: adults/children over 12 years
    GBP4.40. Children under 12 - free

    Bookings must be made in advance. Please telephone +44-(0)1536-262977, 
    email Brit.Naturalists@btopenworld.com. or download the booking form
    from the website at www.bna-naturalists.org and send to The British
    Naturalists' Association, PO Box 5682, Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 2ZW.

    - Interviews

    Roger Tabor, Chairman of the British Naturalists' Association,
    is available for interviews. Please contact Claire Adam at Substance 
    PR on +44-(0)23-8023-8237/ claire@substancepr.co.uk

About the British Naturalists' Association (BNA)

The British Naturalists' Association, the national body for naturalists, and one of the country's oldest Natural History organisations, was founded in 1905. It is the only national body that promotes the study of all branches of natural history. Nationally, the Association organises study days, field weeks and weekends, lectures and exhibitions. At branch level there are talks and exploratory wildlife walks where newcomers can learn and where experienced naturalists share their expertise. The Association publishes the magazine Country-Side, which also celebrates its centenary this year. Visit the BNA website at www.bna-naturalists.org

The botanist and conservationist David Bellamy is world famous from his many television series and his tireless championing of wildlife and conservation issues around the planet. He is President of The British Naturalists' Association.

About the BNA Peter Scott Memorial Award

Sir Peter Scott was one of the most influential conservationists of the 20th Century, and was the first to receive a knighthood. He founded and was the first chairman of the World Wildlife Fund, now known as the Worldwide Fund for Nature, and was also the originator of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red Data Books on threatened species. He also founded the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Sir Peter was for many years a Vice-President of the British Naturalists' Association, and the BNA Peter Scott Memorial Award was instituted after his death to commemorate his achievements.

This prestigious award is given only to those who have made an outstanding contribution to our understanding of natural history or conservation.

SOURCE British Naturalists' Association



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