Pupils from Dauntsey’s and members of the local community were treated to a passionate and inspiring talk from Steve Backshall this week. Steve is recognised as one of TV’s busiest presenters and a BAFTA award-winning wildlife expert, known and loved by many of the younger audience for presenting BBC TV's ‘Deadly 60’.
Talking of his early life, Steve described how his parents wanted them to have a life of adventure through exploits such as snorkelling and travelling. He added that the desire to explore is one of the key things that makes humans such a successful species and that, for children, adventure is extraordinary. He spoke at length about the places his career has taken him and the honour of finding and describing a new species, the Bosavi Giant Woolly Rat, during an expedition to Papua New Guinea. It is one of the largest rats in the world, as large as a domestic cat.
Steve then moved on to talk about why he and his wife, the Olympic champion rower Helen Glover, took on the Devizes to Westminster (DW) canoe race to buy a section of the Borneo Rainforest. He has witnessed the impact of logging and modern agriculture on the rainforest over the past few decades and felt compelled to do something about it. Through the DW race, he and Helen raised enough money to buy three chunks of rainforest, thereby protecting the habitat and wildlife living there. His message to the audience was that we can all affect the planet positively, and make the world a better place, if we try.
Jo Sagers, Head of Admissions, Dauntsey’s said:
“We were lucky to have Steve come to talk to us about his career and the importance of challenge and exploration. Adventure is an important feature of life at Dauntsey’s and the audience was inspired by Steve’s talk and hearing about his experiences all over the world, as well as closer to home in the DW canoe race, an event for which our own team of sixth formers are currently in training!”
“We are immensely grateful to Steve for taking time out of his very hectic schedule to talk to us. Everyone was inspired to explore, take chances, and, above all, to not take our beautiful world for granted.”
Notes to Editors:
The Mercers’ Lectures are named in recognition of the links between Dauntsey’s and the Mercers’ Company, which go back to Mercer founder Alderman William Dauntesey, Master of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, who founded the School in West Lavington in 1542.
For further information about Dauntsey’s School, go to www.dauntseys.org or follow us on Twitter at Dauntsey’s@DauntseysSchool.