www.paydaybur.co.uk

Banter and anecdotes with David Attenborough and Alastair Fothergill, in the presence on HRH The Princess Royal @ The Royal Geographical Society

On behalf of the Whitely Fund for Nature held at the Royal Geographical Society in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, Alastair Fothergill (Wildlife Film Producer) and David Attenborough engaged in light hearted banter about their experiences of working together over some 30 years on some of the greatest natural history programmes ever shown, including Planet Earth and Frozen Planet.

Although lasting only an hour ‘in conversation’, it was filled with anecdotes and film clips, whilst the 700 strong audience audibly held their breath. Scenes of destruction: chimpanzees (showing distinctly humanistic tendencies to team work) hunting down monkeys to feast upon; weeds choking their host for energy and food to dominate foliage; and fish with scarily enormous teeth – all filmed so cinematically and with such dramatic accompanying music one realised where Dr Who producers had taken their inspiration. Children and adults alike sat transfixed – after all David is The Wildlife Man (probably of the planet) – and, despite his soft voice, still conveys a sense of urgency for us to recognise our responsibility to the planet.

During the Q&A session, David admitted it would be hard to choose one favourite animal, although he admits to being keen on Birds of Paradise, but explained it is the ecosystems which we must focus our conservation energy. Of all the ecosystems, he felt the ocean was the most important.

The event was held to raise funds and awareness for the Whitely Fund for Nature which is a small NGO whose mission is to support local experts in the conservation of wildlife across the globe. Individuals who apply for funding go through a rigorous selection process. Many recipients of past awards have now become experts in their respective fields.  Lady Catherine Faulkes, a Trustee, spoke of one finalist who several years ago was awarded funding for the rarely seen Snow Leopard. He is now the world’s expert on this subject, despite having only seen a Snow Leopard three times in his life (and to boot, the same one!) This example illustrates the total devotion of those involved.

The strength of this tiny but effective NGO is the high calibre of Patron and Trustees (HRH The Princess Royal is Patron and David Attenborough is a Trustee); a small in-house team of staff, and (particularly important from a Development perspective), using local experts with local knowledge to entrust the safekeeping and conservation of our planet for future generations. More importantly grants are not given on a one-off basis but for long term conservation projects.

This was an excellently presented, engaging and natural ‘conversation’, which in years to come will no doubt inspire a new generation of Attenboroughs’, Fothergill’s or even Dr Who producers. A real treat.

www.whitelyaward.org

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply