SIR PETER SCOTT (1909 - 1989)

Peter Scott at WWT Slimbridge in 1954.

Peter Markham Scott was born on the 14th September 1909 in London, England and was the only son of the famous Antarctic explorer Captain Scott and sculptor Kathleen Bruce.

Peter was only two when his father died during the ill-fated exploration to the South Pole. In a letter to his wife, Captain Scott expressed his wish for his son to become interested in natural history, which she duly encouraged.

His middle name was Markham and was taken from the mentor of Scott’s polar expeditions Sir Clements Markham.

Peter was educated at Oundle School and went on to Trinity College, Cambridge where he read Natural History before going on to graduate in the History of Art in 1931.

Peter Scott had an artistic talent and went on to exhibit his work in London in 1933. Due to his financial security, he was able to follow his Art and Wildlife interests together with various sporting activities such as sailing where he represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games winning a Bronze medal.

During the Second World War, Peter Scott served in the Royal Navy as a Sub-Lieutenant where he served in Destroyers in the North Atlantic and later commanded a Squadron of steam Gun Boats in the English Channel and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for bravery.

In 1946, Peter Scott founded the Severn Wildfowl Trust, now the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. Over the years Peter led worldwide ornithological expeditions becoming a television personality and with his BBC natural history series ‘Look’, which ran from 1955 to 1981.

In 1956, Peter Scott appeared in This Is Your Life, hosted by Eamonn Andrews in the Kings theatre, Hammersmith, London.

He also took up gliding and by 1963 he had become British Champion. He was the chairman of the British Gliding Association (BGA) in 1968 and 1969 and was responsible for involving Prince Phillip in Gliding who is still patron of the BGA.

Peter Scott wrote and illustrated several books including his autobiography The Eye of the Wind which was published in 1961.

Bizarely, Peter Scott wa responsible for giving the Loch Ness Monster its scientific name of Nessiteras rhombopteryx based upon a blurred underwater photograph so that it could be registered as an endagered species.

In 1962, he and David James MP, co-founded the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau. David James was the Polar adviser on the movie 'Scott of the Antarctic'.

Peter Scott was Knighted in 1973 for his contribution to the conservation of wild animals.

Peter Scott was Chancellor of the University of Birmingham from 1973 to 1983 and was awarded an Honorary Degree from University of Bath in 1992.

On the 29th August 1989, Peter died of a Heart Attack. He was the founder president of the 'Society of Wildlife Artists' and President of the 'Nature in Art' trust, a role in which his wife Philippa succeeded him.

Honours and Decorations

1941 - Mentioned in Despatches
1942 - Mentioned in Despatches
1942 - Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
1943 - Awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
1953 - Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
1973 - He was Knighted.
1987 - Appointed Order of the Companions of Honour (CH)

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Statue of Sir Peter Scott at WWT London Wetland Centre.

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There are nine Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) Centres in the UK:

WWT Arundel, in West Sussex

WWT Caerlaverock, in Dumfriesshire

WWT Castle Espie, in County Down

WWT Llanelli, in Carmarthenshire

WWT London, Barnes

WWT Martin Mere, in Lancashire

WWT Slimbridge, in Gloucestershire

WWT Washington, in Tyne & Wear

WWT Welney, in Norfolk

Become A Member
Becoming a member is one of the best ways to help protect the precious wetland habitat. You’ll also get free access all year to explore their wetland sites around the UK, created especially to be havens for wildlife.

(Official WWT Website)

The map below, shows the locations of each of the WWT Centres in the UK or you can find more detailed information about each WWT Centre by clicking on the links above. (Links to Official WWT website).

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Waterlife is WWT’s flagship publication which keeps members up to date with the pioneering conservation work they support, all the exciting things going on at the centres, and learning more about wetlands and wildlife.

Waterlife Issue 210 - October/December 2019 - Click Image to View

Each issue of the magazine includes:

latest news and stories.

In-depth features on wetland wildlife conservation and wetlands creation, restoration and protection.

Wildlife spotter guides.

A Kids Zone to inspire the next generation of nature lovers.

Down Your Way event listings showing what is happening at your local centre.

Waterlife magazine is free for members of WWT.

Recent Wildlife Issues
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Issue 208
Issue 207
Issue 206
Issue 205

You can help to protect wetland habitats in the UK and around the World by becoming a member of the WWT, visit official WWT site for details.