Surrey's most influential wildlife people: Movers and Shakers 2013
PUBLISHED: 15:28 02 July 2013
In recent months, team Surrey Life has been busy speaking to our contributors and industry experts from around the county to get a feel for just who makes Surrey tick
The founder of the Wildlife Aid Foundation in Leatherhead, which he started back in 1980, Simon Cowell has built up what began as a small local rescue centre into a major wildlife charity. Today, as well as a fully equipped veterinary hospital, they have an emergency rescue service dealing with 20,000 wildlife incidents every year and are supported by an army of more than 300 volunteers. In addition, Simon is also the managing director of Wild Productions Ltd, the company that produces the TV series Wildlife SOS, shown internationally on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet, and which also produced the hit BBC TV series The Bionic Vet. He was awarded the MBE for services to wildlife in 2005.
Well-known in the wildlife conservation sector, Paul Wickham has been chairman of the Surrey Nature Partnership since July 2012. The 65-year-old was also chief executive of Surrey Wildlife Trust from 1997 to 2006, and a trustee of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts from 2006 until 2012 where he has been vice chairman for the last three years. Among the Carshalton Beeches resident’s most notable achievements, he negotiated the deal with Surrey County Council that saw Surrey Wildlife Trust take over the management of the council’s countryside estate, thus ensuring good habitat management and public access to cherished landscapes such as Chobham Common, Norbury Park and Staffhurst Wood.
He may be best-known as the guitarist with rock band Queen, but away from the stage Brian May is also a passionate wildlife campaigner. As well as setting up the non-profit organisation Save Me to champion British wildlife, the 65-year-old West End resident has been a leading inspiration in the fight against fox hunting and the ongoing battle against the proposed UK badger cull. In fact, he was recently awarded the honour of campaigner of the year by the International fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). Prior to that, in 2005, he was appointed CBE for services to the music industry and for his charity work. He is also a vice-president of the RSPCA.
Keep on moving
Of course, any such list is subjective and many more could have featured within these pages. Get in touch with your Movers & Shakers, the people who influence how we all live in Surrey, on facebook.com/SurreyLife and twitter.com/SurreyLife and maybe you’ll see them included next time round!