Leicester PhD student one of UKs top conservationists

Tim 400.jpgTim Mackrill (pictured left), a PhD student in our Department of Genetics and Senior reserve officer of the Rutland Osprey Project, has featured at number 34 in the BBC Wildlife Magazine's top 50 conservation heroes in the UK.

The list was compiled using the expertise of the BBC Wildlife Magazine Advisory Panel who consulted dozens of other wildlife experts to create a longlist of nominations. This list was then narrowed down by looking for evidence of substantial positive impact and the likelihood of increasing impact over the coming years. Key criteria were influence and potential, so the final list includes Britain’s rising stars as well as established names.

Tim's entry read:

Tim Mackrill Senior reserve officer, Rutland Osprey Project

The high-profile osprey-translocation scheme at Rutland Water, which Tim starting helping aged 14 years old and today manages, is as much about education and community engagement as species conservation. Through guided visits and boat trips, nest webcams, outreach to schools both locally and in Gambia (where many British ospreys overwinter), and World Osprey Week – a global online celebration of migration – Tim and his team of volunteers have reached many thousands of people.

Broadcaster and 'national treasure' Sir David Attenborough, who was raised with his brothers on the University campus where his father, Fred Attenborough, was the Principal of the University College –the forerunner to the University of Leicester, was named fourth in the list:

David Attenborough, Broadcaster

“Oh, I’m not ready to stop yet,” David breezily told BBC Wildlife at home in 2012. He gave us the same answer on location in 2013. And he’s carried on working as hard as ever, relentlessly pushing boundaries in his epic natural-history programmes, for example to embrace the latest 3D, CGI and high-definition technology. A favourite with his production crews as well as vast TV audiences watching worldwide, David has been a star for six decades now. Previously criticised for glossing over harsh conservation realities in his gorgeous wildlife documentaries, the veteran presenter has increasingly voiced his fears about climate change, human overpopulation, Creationism and the English badger cull, among many other issues. In 2014 his opposition to oil exploration in Uganda’s Virunga National Park made British company Soco International think twice. An Attenborough appearance or endorsement is fundraising gold for charities. Yet his refusal to do commercials, refreshing in the modern age, is vital to the authority of his storytelling. When David speaks, we listen. “I can’t believe this is my day job,” David confided to BBC Wildlife, before adding: “Well, it’s not really a proper job, is it?” We think it is, and it is to David that millions of people owe their understanding of nature.

Read the full article on BBC Wildlife Magazine website