Peter Scott was only 2 when his father, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, died whilst returning from the South Pole in 1912. In a last letter to his widow, Peter’s father advised her to “make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than games.” It clearly worked as soon after his wartime service in the RNVR, he established the Severn Wildfowl Trust – which later became the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust – at Slimbridge and the RNBWS was established in the same year. He subsequently became a celebrated conservationist, a founder of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and even designed its panda logo. He may well have designed our RNBWS logo too, but we can’t be sure.
As well as Scott, another celebrated member – and the main driving force for the new society - was Captain Gerald Tuck who was chairman for 30 years and the author, in 1978, of the definitive guide to Seabirds of the World. The book, dedicated to the RNBWS, was reprinted many times and may still be found on Amazon today. It is fascinating to imagine how much of the research for the book was conducted from the bridges of Her Majesty’s warships.