Leading conservationist helps celebrate green honour

Leading conservationist helps celebrate green honour

One of Scotland's foremost naturalists will tonight help the University of Aberdeen celebrate a green honour.

Sir John Lister-Kaye OBE, a well loved nature writer, is in the city because the University's Natural History Centre has achieved Eco Centre status.

The Eco Centres programme is managed by the environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, which also manages and runs the highly successful Eco-Schools programme here in Scotland.

Both programmes recognise the work that organisations are doing in promoting a more sustainable way of living including the promotion and protection of the environment.

There are just five centres with the accolade of Eco Centre in Scotland – including the Natural History Centre.

The Aigas Field Centre in Beauly – set up by Sir John, nearly 40 years ago, to share the wildlife wonders of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland – was awarded Eco Centre status in 2004.

Tonight Sir John will join invited guests at a launch event to celebrate the Natural History Centre's new status – which is also being marked by the flying of a green flag this week over the heart of the Old Aberdeen campus.

Keep Scotland Beautiful awarded the flag to the Natural History Centre and, in order to hold onto it, and maintain Eco Centre status, the Centre must continue to build upon its environmental and sustainable development work.

Sir John said: "Environmental education is vital if we are to learn to live sustainably on our planet.

"Congratulations to the University of Aberdeen on achieving this award, which endorses and underlines their essential work with schools."

Kate Campbell, Eco-Schools Manager with Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: "This is a really great achievement for the University of Aberdeen Natural History Centre, which reaches out and engages with hundreds of school children and individuals from across the north-east of Scotland every year.

"The Centre plays a key role in promoting sustainability and encouraging environmental awareness. We would be delighted to see more such centres achieving this Award in the future."

Marie Fish, Education Officer at the Natural History Centre, said: "We are absolutely delighted that Keep Scotland Beautiful decided the Natural History Centre deserved to be an Eco Centre.

"This award acknowledges the work of the Centre and fosters its future action for the environment by encouraging the integration of environmental awareness and sustainability as intrinsic components of the Centre's curriculum delivery and ethos."

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