Roy Dennis gets RSPB Medal

Roy Dennis is this year’s recipient of the RSPB Medal – an award which is given to those who make a very significant contribution to nature conservation. Previous recipients have included David Attenborough, John Gummer, Chris Mead, Michael McCarthy, Dick Potts, Ian Newton, Robert Gillmor and the BTO/SOC/BWI team who produced the last Breeding Bird Atlas.

Roy is a very worthy recipient of this award. His track record in ornithology and bird conservation includes being warden of Fair Isle Bird Observatory, the RSPB’s Highland Officer for 20 years (1971-1990) and the founder of the Roy Dennis Foundation in 1995 which is active in rewilding and reintroduction projects. Roy has also written two excellent recent books, one of which, Cottongrass Summer, was the joint Book of the Year for this blog in 2021 (see also Restoring the Wild).

Roy is a force of nature and a force for nature. He is a thinker, a doer and a communicator. I know he is an old, white male but he is an old white male who has been making a difference to the world for 60+ years (ie since at least his twenties). And still is. If medals aren’t made for the likes of Roy Dennis then for whom are they intended?

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7 Replies to “Roy Dennis gets RSPB Medal”

  1. Very well said indeed Mark and Roy Dennis’s award is richly deserved. He is a “doer” and not a talker. It is easy to be the latter but very difficult to be the former, so the award is especially deserved.
    It is rather sad the Wild Ken Hill announcement of the cancellation of their WTE project should coincide with the RSPB’s richly deserved award. However I am sure this cancellation will not inhibit Roy in the slightest from pressing on with more reintroductions . Good luck to him. I am also sure, given time, we will find out from him the real story behind Wild Ken Hill’s extraordinary and somewhat reprehensible decision at this very late stage.

  2. Even older white males can be exceptional. As a group they apparently have advantages others don’t, but there can still be individuals whose efforts are exceptional, despite their advantages. Sounds like Roy Dennis is one of those.

  3. Roy sets the bar so high given he has been the “real deal” in conservation for as long as most of us older ones can remember. Well done to Roy, but I am also surprised that he hadn’t already received this award.

  4. Excellent news. For statistical purposes it may be that Roy can be classified into a number of different categories but as far as I am concerned the only one that matters is that he has spent a lifetime fighting for nature and making a real and considerable difference through his efforts.

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