New patronage to support BTO communities and engage people with the natural world

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has today announced that His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge has become Patron of the BTO, assuming the patronage from His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh who has held the role for over 30 years.

The patronage reflects the close alignment between two of The Duke of Cambridge’s long-standing areas of interest – supporting communities to protect their natural environment for future generations, and helping children and young people to build their skills, confidence and aspirations – and the growing body of work that the BTO is doing in these areas.

In a time of lockdown, much of society has become more aware that access to nature and greenspace offers solace and inspiration. BTO volunteers gather the all-important data that fuel our understanding of the natural world, providing a solid evidence base that supports informed decision-making and conservation action. Through active participation, BTO volunteers not only make an important contribution to society but they also receive mental health and well-being benefits.

BTO is passionate about spreading these public benefits throughout society. With the support of His Royal Highness, the charity looks forward to delivering the benefits of public participation in science through nature to many people, including those communities that have traditionally been under-represented. BTO is currently working with its Youth Advisory Panel to deliver a diverse, vibrant community of young birders with accessible youth-led opportunities, inspiring young people across society to engage with nature and science.

Dr Andy Clements, BTO Chief Executive, said “I am delighted that The Duke of Cambridge has become our Patron, following on from his grandfather who worked so tirelessly on our behalf. We hope that we will be able to support The Duke’s strong interest in protecting the environment through our evidence-based work around environmental issues in the UK.”

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