One of UK’s leading wildlife gurus to deliver major environmental speech in Sheffield

Thursday 15th September 2016

Simon Barnes, leading environmental campaigner. Photo; David BebberSimon Barnes. Photo by David Bebber

Not concreting over your garden and putting out a bird feeder could help to safeguard South Yorkshire’s wildlife for generations to come. That’s the message from one of the country’s leading writers on wildlife, who will demand everyone in the region takes responsibility for protecting natural environments when he delivers a major speech in Sheffield later this month.

Renowned journalist and author Simon Barnes is delivering the keynote address at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust’s annual general meeting- with members of the public invited to hear his inspirational environmental message.

The bird watching guru and author of ‘My Natural History’ and ‘How To Be A Bad Birdwatcher’ will also tour some of Sheffield’s best loved wildlife havens including Wyoming Brook, Fox Hagg and Centenary Riverside, a 4.5 hectare wetland reserve nestled alongside the River Don.

“Protecting our wildlife starts at the bottom - not just governments and statutory bodies. Really, it all comes down to you and me.

Simon said: “Protecting our wildlife starts at the bottom - not just governments and statutory bodies. Really, it all comes down to you and me. A lot of small voices add up to a shout and if we all whisper into the wind together, we will be heard.

“When asked where he got his passion for the natural world, David Attenborough responded by asking ‘when did you lose yours?’. All children are born with natural inquisitiveness. They love being outside with nature - holding a worm or playing in the mud and rain.

“My talk, ‘A view from the lofty place’, is based on a realisation that that all humans need connections with non-human life. It comes down to you and me. Just sticking a bird feeder on the window of your second floor flat or not concreting your garden can make a difference.”

Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust is inviting people to ‘An evening with Simon Barnes’, where the author of more than 20 books will also be signing copies of his latest work, ‘The Meaning of Birds’, released this month by Head of Zeus.

Liz Ballard, Chief Executive, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, said: “We’re lucky to have attracted one of the country’s foremost birdwatching and wildlife experts to speak in Sheffield and we want as many people as possible to hear what he has to say.

“His message is a simple one - that by each doing our bit in small but meaningful ways, we can have a big and lasting impact on the wildlife that is all around us.”

The event will take place on Thursday 22 September from 6pm, at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Victoria Hall, 37 Stafford Road, Sheffield S2 2SF. Tickets are £4 (payable on the night – but reserve your place online) or you can become a member of the Wildlife Trust and receive a free ticket.

To book your place, visit