Daughter is following in Sir Peter's footsteps
ONCE described as the father of conservation, Sir Peter Scott left a legacy that has undoubtedly ensured many habitats have been protected and future generations inspired to preserve the natural world.For six years he lived in a lighthouse in the heart o
ONCE described as the father of conservation, Sir Peter Scott left a legacy that has undoubtedly ensured many habitats have been protected and future generations inspired to preserve the natural world.
For six years he lived in a lighthouse in the heart of the Fens, where he painted dramatic oil works of the wildfowl which flocked to a remote Lincolnshire outpost at Sutton Bridge - and he later founded the wetlands at Welney.
Today, exactly 100 years after he was born, the Welney Wetland Trust will be among a number of organisations across the country marking his centenary.
A trail through the reserve, which takes visitors through his life as an ornithologist, conservationist and artist, has been set up, and earlier this week staff at the centre cut a cake to mark the occasion.
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Sir Peter's daughter Dafila, who followed in her father's footsteps by becoming a zoologist and later an artist, has some of her work on show at Welney Wetland Centre.
Speaking in her own art studio at home in Cambridgeshire, she said: "He was lovely. He was completely mad about natural history.
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"He loved the Wash and the Fens. It had something to do with his wildfowling days."
Sir Peter set up the Severn Wildfowl Trust at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire in 1946 - and it later became the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
There are now nine centres in the UK, including the one at Welney.
Julie Ward, centre manager at the WWT Welney, said: "In this, the year of his centenary, with nine wetland centres nationally, it is testament to Sir Peter Scott that his vision of conserving wetlands for wildlife and people remains on the Welney reserve today, providing a haven for thousands of wintering migratory swans and wildfowl including pochard, wigeon, pintail, gadwall and teal."
Wildlife presenter Chris Packham said: "I made a film about Sir Peter Scott. I went to see him and his wife Phillippa and they were so hospitable. They didn't care if I had blue hair. Then out of the blue I was invited to one of his birthday parties. Instead of the expected grand occasion, Sir Peter's 75th birthday had few guests - though Sir David Attenborough was among them.
"In so many ways, he gave me confidence, he reassured me about human nature.