The chairman of one of the UK’s leading environmental education charities is to be added to an A-list of highly influential ecologists alongside Britain’s national treasure Sir David Attenborough.
Professor Des Thompson, chairman of the Field Studies Council (FSC) which operates 20 outdoor education centres across the UK and has its headquarters in Shropshire, has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to nature conservation and upland ecology by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
He will now receive The CIEEM Medal at an awards lunch on June 27 in London and be added to a list of acclaimed winners which features wildlife broadcaster and presenter Sir David Attenborough, ecologists Professor Dame Georgina Mary Mace and Professor Sir John Lawton and scientist Lord Robert May of Oxford.
During his career Professor Thompson, who has chaired the FSC board for five years, has published more than 200 papers, articles and books in relation to upland and bird ecology and has been involved in almost every aspect of upland conservation throughout the British Isles over the past 30 years.
He also plays a key role in influencing nature conservation policy, acts as a principal advisor on science and biodiversity for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and regularly provides advice to ministers and civil servants within the Scottish Government.
FSC chief executive Mark Castle, who is based at FSC Preston Montford near Shrewsbury, said: “We are delighted that Des’s hard work and commitment to the profession has been recognised by the CIEEM.
“He has been singled out as an excellent communicator, brilliant scientific administrator and influential advocate and we couldn’t agree more.
“Des is extremely passionate about what he does and this award reflects his life-long dedication to the environment.”
Mr Castle added: “This recognition also goes a very long way to highlighting the depth of experience and expertise we have at our disposal here at the FSC.
“Des is very active in his role as chair and is one of our leading advocates when it comes to highlighting the importance of outdoor education.
“Over the years he has supervised many students undertaking research at the FSC and we are sure he will continue to inspire those who are fortunate to work alongside him.”
The CIEEM Medal is the institute’s highest accolade. It is awarded annually as a way of celebrating the outstanding work of ecologists and environmental managers in the UK and Ireland.