Sir David Attenborough at 90

Sunday 8th May 2016

Sir David Attenborough at Thurrock Thameside Nature Park - Photo Daniel Bridge

Sir David Attenborough turns 90 today (Sunday) and all at Essex Wildlife Trust would like to wish him a very happy birthday.

Sir David is President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts and has been a prominent supporter of The Wildlife Trusts movement for many decades.

At Essex Wildlife Trust we have been honoured to welcome Sir David to two of our sites recently.

In May 2013 Sir David officially opened Thurrock Thameside Nature Park. His remarkable speech, in a marquee packed with close to 2,000 people, will live long in the memory. Dramatic and inspirational, Sir David’s words left his audience spellbound, describing the nature park, built on a former landfill site, as “a miracle” and “a site of which to be truly proud … a monument to what can be done to restore nature.”

Last June, Sir David officially opened Essex & Suffolk Water’s Abberton Reservoir Expansion Scheme, in an event co-hosted by Essex Wildlife Trust and the water company, at our Abberton Reservoir visitor centre and nature reserve.

Abberton Reservoir is of international importance to wildlife, especially wildfowl, and the reservoir enlargement was designed not just to ensure that water supplies to people are bolstered but, by improving habitats around the reservoir, that the site is now better than ever for birds and other wildlife.

“I can remember a time when nature conservation and development were seen to be in opposition – you either developed or conserved – and that led to confrontation,” Sir David said. “Here at Abberton Reservoir this is fundamentally, extraordinarily and wonderfully different. It is a blessing, a wonder and a great admiration to see what has been achieved by this partnership [between Essex Wildlife Trust and Essex & Suffolk Water] being celebrated.”

For more information and images about Sir David’s long-running involvement with The Wildlife Trusts, see: www.wildlifetrusts.org/Attenborough90

Sir David Attenborough joined the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves (SPNR) - now known as The Wildlife Trusts - as an Associate Member in 1965. He was Chairman of its British Wildlife Appeal between 1985 and 1990. David was The Wildlife Trusts’ President between 1991 and 1995 and is currently President Emeritus. He worked tirelessly throughout the British Wildlife Appeal, undertaking two punishing nationwide lecture tours involving travelling thousands of miles, speaking to 25,000 people at more than 130 venues and raising more than £85,000 in the process.

He has since opened Wildlife Trust nature reserves, visitor centres and education centres across the country. Just last week Sir David launched London Wildlife Trust’s Woodberry Wetlands nature reserve.

Photographs by Daniel Bridge and Douglas Blanks.