13th December 2019

A sad goodbye to our former president David Bellamy

We are very sad to hear of the passing of Dr David Bellamy who used to be Bat Conservation Trust's President.

Tony Hutson who knew David in the early years of BCT says:

When BCT was first established, it used to have Conservation Foundation as an address and David Bellamy became its first president. The Conservation Foundation was founded by David and had offices in the Royal Geographical Society in London.

David appeared on the front cover of Bat News in July 1993, when launching our National Bat Week at the opening of BCT's major wide-ranging exhibition Discovering Bats at the Natural History Museum (image on the right hand side).

He also appeared on the front cover of Bat News in July 1996 dressed as a bat (as Paul says) when he was launching an event we held at London Zoo (Thumbs up for Bats). The event was geared up mainly for children, but involved an awful lot of people participating in a wide range of activities, demonstrations, talks, dancing, drawing and so on.

David Bellamy was always game for an unusual way of presenting information and he had some years before (perhaps in the 1980s) wanted to talk about bats and their hibernation. He came to Westerham Mines Bat Reserve in Kent and was filmed discussing hibernation from inside a sleeping bag inside the mines, before nodding off into 'hibernation'.

Martin Newman, BCT's current IT consultant says:

I knew David Bellamy from my days at Surrey Wildlife Trust and again when I did some work at the Conservation Foundation. His enthusiasm and knowledge have been widely commented upon.

Less known by the public was the way he could “work a room”. On many occasions I watched him go round a group of local dignitaries we had assembled for him, giving targeted locally relevant messages to each in turn, having had only the briefest advice on the pertinent things to say to each beforehand. And I always enjoyed driving him to such events when he could be wickedly and loudly honest when expressing his views on public figures in the worlds of conservation and politics.