The Chairman and Trustees of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) are delighted to announce that Teresa Dent, Chief Executive of the Trust has been awarded a CBE for services to wildlife conservation in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Teresa Dent comes from a farming background, having graduated with a degree in Agriculture from Reading University. She was appointed Chief Executive of the GWCT in 2001 and during this time she has helped the charity take a much more prominent role in national conservation policy.
Teresa Dent said “I am very honoured to be given this award. I feel strongly it is an award for the whole charity, every single member of staff and our wonderful trustees. It very much recognises the amazing results of the GWCT’s research over more than eight decades and acknowledges the innovative ideas that have emanated from this research.”
An interest in the wild grey partridge meant that GWCT’s game biologists were the first to research and realise the impact modern agriculture was having on farmland bird populations in the 1970s. This resulted in its scientists developing many wildlife enhancing prescriptions over the years to help reverse population declines, including iconic measures such as Beetle Banks and Conservation Headlands. In turn this research has been instrumental in making strides in restoring wildlife, ranging from farmland bird species on the GWCT’s Allerton Project farm in Leicestershire to helping save water voles from the unremitting predation of American mink.
Teresa Dent continues, “I believe passionately that our best hope for reversing the decline of our wildlife is with those that manage land, such as farmers, gamekeepers, foresters, river keepers and other land managers. After all it is they who look after 75% of our countryside. At the end of the day it is the people on the ground that lay the hedge to make nesting areas, leave the field edge for rare arable flowers, or plant the flower strips for pollinators.”
The charity works closely with practitioners such as these both as individuals and at landscape-scale, persuading them, and advising them on how to do more for wildlife. Teresa explains, “It is very important to understand what motivates people. A love of shooting is often a huge motivation to land managers, and what they do to help game species thrive can be of great advantage for other wildlife as well. Indeed so much so that many Agri-environment Scheme prescriptions have their roots in game management techniques, and game management is now acknowledged as a major contributor to biodiversity.”
On being awarded a CBE, Ian Coghill, Chairman of the GWCT’s Trustees said of Teresa Dent, “Everyone at GWCT is delighted at this recognition. Teresa’s calm determination to do the right thing at whatever the personal cost has set an example that few can follow. Some of the truths she has told have not been universally welcome but her diplomacy and perseverance have more often than not won the day. The world would be a much poorer place without Teresa and GWCT and Britain’s wildlife have much to thank her for.”
Teresa Dent lives in Salisbury, Wiltshire and as well as being the Chief Executive of the GWCT, she is a Board member of Natural England and also chaired the very successful Government supported Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area.
Photocaption: Teresa Dent, Chief Executive of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, based in Hampshire, has been awarded a CBE in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Photo-credit: Hugh Knutt.
Notes to editors
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.
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