Tony Juniper - campaigner, writer and well-known environmentalist – has been appointed President of The Wildlife Trusts.
Tony Juniper will help the work of The Wildlife Trusts to support nature’s recovery on land and at sea and to put nature at the heart of society. His recent book What Nature Does For Britain explored the far-reaching impact of this vision and drew on the work of The Wildlife Trusts to illustrate the benefits for wildlife, society and the economy.
On accepting the role, Tony Juniper said: "It is a huge honour and privilege to be declared as the new President of The Wildlife Trusts. This organisation is the very backbone of conservation in the UK and the work being undertaken right across the country, in the places where we all live, is vital in bringing huge benefits for people, nature and our economy. I am very much looking forward to adding what I can to the already huge impact of this amazing network.
Tony Juniper continues: “Many people have become used to hearing that looking after our environment and conserving nature is an unaffordable luxury, especially during times of economic hardship. Nothing could be further from the truth. The more research we have the more we see that nature is not a distraction from our interests as a country, but is essential for our health, wealth and security. At a time of rising population, increased demand for resources and pressure on the land it is more vital than ever that this message is heard.”
Juniper has been involved with The Wildlife Trusts for over 30 years, starting his career in wildlife education in the mid-1980s with the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, through to his recent position as a Trustee for The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. He was the first recipient of The Wildlife Trusts’ prestigious Charles Rothschild and Miriam Rothschild Medal, which recognises outstanding achievements in the promotion, study, management or conservation of the natural environment.
Tony Juniper joins The Wildlife Trusts at a time when they:
- Bring 392,000 people (mainly children) a year closer to nature through group visits to our nature reserves or outreach visits by Wildlife Trusts to schools, community groups and care homes.
- Care for 98,000 hectares of land and 370km of river (over 2,300 nature reserves)
- Advise on the management of a further 159,000 hectares of land and 3,100km of river
- Welcome 395,000 people a year to our events, like walks and talks
- Work alongside 43,000 active volunteers
- Benefit from 1.2 million hours annually contributed by volunteers
- Are supported by more than 800,000 members
Tony Juniper continues: "The Wildlife Trusts are already working alongside thousands of people and having a huge positive impact on the environment. But it is time to step up the conservation game in the UK. We've lost far too much of our wild places and the job now must be to stop the decline of what is left and restore much of what has already gone. More ambition is needed from others, including our Government, which in its election manifesto promised to lay the foundations for the restoration of nature in a generation. That is a bold and welcome goal and I'm looking forward to helping turn it into action."
Tony Juniper follows Simon King OBE the previous President. Former Presidents also include Professor Aubrey Manning OBE, Sir David Attenborough and Professor David Bellamy OBE. The Wildlife Trusts’ vice presidents are Professor J Chris Baines, Nick Baker, Professor David MacDonald CBE DSc FRSE, Bill Oddie OBE, Julian Pettifer OBE, Sir Robert Worcester KBE DL.