Mary Colwell will obtain the RSPB’s highest award on the charity’s Annual Common Assembly (AGM) broadcast from Bedfordshire in the present day [Saturday 15 October]recognizing its excellent contribution to nature conservation.
A passionate conservationist, Mary was chosen because the recipient of the 2022 RSPB Medal due to her tireless dedication to elevating consciousness of the plight of the Eurasian Curlew, an endangered chook within the UK and Eire. Utilizing her platform, Mary additionally led the marketing campaign to get a pure historical past GCSE in UK colleges, which was profitable earlier this yr.
Commenting on Mary’s achievements, RSPB Chief Government Beccy Speight commented: “The drastic lack of the curlew from our marketing campaign is a stark reminder of what we stand to lose if nature shouldn’t be protected and never restored, and Mary’s dedication to the plight of the curlew ought to encourage us all. With unwavering ardour, Mary has captured the hearts and minds of many people, together with native communities, artists, musicians and conservation teams, encouraging us to take up the problem of defending the character that surrounds us. is so costly.
The significance of connecting and understanding the wonders of wildlife has by no means been clearer. In making such strides in creating the Pure Historical past GCSE, Mary’s work will go an extended method to inspiring and emboldening the conservationists of the long run and we’re completely delighted to honor Mary at our AGM in the present day .
In 2016 Mary traveled round Eire and the UK to share the story of the drastic lack of the curlew in our countryside. Her ensuing e-book, Curlew Moon, describes the journey she undertook to have interaction new audiences and lift consciousness of the plight of the curlew. She additionally continues to share curlew conservation tales within the media and has helped set up advocacy conferences with UK governments to higher coordinate efforts to save lots of this particular chook.
Bringing collectively numerous conservationists at curlew restoration conferences, she is now chair of the Curlew Restoration Partnership in England alongside the Networks for Nature discussion board, which brings collectively inventive thinkers to deal with and share nature considerations.
This yr’s winner has additionally championed the significance of nature training, main the marketing campaign for a brand new GCSE in pure historical past, which was profitable in April 2022. Writing a passionate plea on the significance of nature studying from nature and enhancing environmental training, Mary’s work has been included within the groundbreaking journal DasGupta on the economics of biodiversity.
On accepting the award, Mary Colwell stated: “This medal is such an honor from one of many biggest conservation organizations on the earth. I do know the giants who acquired it up to now and I really feel very humbled.
The pressures on nature are huge and we’d like brief, medium and long run methods to cope with them. There are speedy conservation actions, such because the safety of nests or the planting of wildlife gardens for instance. There’s the center floor – restoring habitats like grasslands, wetlands, farmland, salt marshes and inspiring the proper tree in the proper place. However there’s additionally the lengthy sport – the large-scale societal adjustments that have to occur if any of those initiatives are to take maintain and normalize.
For this reason I’ve been so captivated with nature training. It’s vital that now we have a nature-literate society the place persons are not solely enchanted by nature, but in addition knowledgeable. I do not imagine we are going to save nature from the onslaught it faces until everybody pulls collectively.
Mary’s newest e-book, Beak Tooth and Claw – Why We Should Reside with Predators, brings measured dialogue to the world of predator administration in Britain and has been praised by numerous conservationists for its navigation on the topic troublesome. This provides to Mary’s spectacular story of bringing collectively a variety of voices for nature to deal with, problem and collaborate on the conservation points we face in the present day.
Earlier RSPB Medal winners embody HRH The Prince of Wales (2010), Sir David Attenborough (2000), Invoice Oddie (1997), Stanley Johnson (2015) and Caroline Lucas MP (2018). In 2012 there was a really uncommon winner; all the group of Tristan da Cunha acquired the medal for his or her efforts when the ship, MS Oliva, ran aground on Nightingale Island, 30 km from Tristan da Cunha, spilling 1,500 tons of oil into the ocean and threatening globally threatened species, together with two-thirds of the world’s rockhopper penguin inhabitants.