Monday, January 21, 2013

Lifetime Award for North Wales Naturalist

I was delighted to be present last week for a very special event, when Iolo Williams presented Peter Hope Jones with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Welsh Ornithological Society. Peter has made a major contribution to Welsh ornithology, over at least 50 years. Way back in 1960 he was Warden at Newborough Warren NNR, just when the conifers were growing up and Montagu’s Harriers were nesting. Later he worked for the Nature Conservancy in Meirionnydd, carrying out bird surveys in the mountains as well as looking after National Nature Reserves in the area.

He has had a lengthy involvement with Bardsey and its Bird Observatory; his book ‘The Natural History of Bardsey’ published in 1988 remains the best account of the island and its wildlife. He is an excellent photographer and this book is illustrated with his own photographs. And we mustn’t forget his latest, and largest, book – the bilingual ‘Birds of Anglesey’ by Hope Jones and Whalley, published in 2004.

The presentation took place in Peter and Joan’s small house in Menai Bridge, not the previously selected venue on Church Island which Peter visits nearly every day. Earlier sleet had encouraged the group to remain indoors.

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