A major South West conservation charity has announced its patrons. Both are star names regionally and nationally.
Naturalist Nick Baker and broadcaster Judi Spiers have been unveiled as patrons of Wild Planet Trust, the charity that runs Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall.
These are the first patrons that the Trust, previously known as Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, has ever had. Executive Director Simon Tonge said: “We are very proud to announce Nick and Judi as patrons of Wild Planet Trust. We’re extremely grateful for their support and for lending their names to our cause.”
Born and bred in Devon, Judi won a legion of fans when she hooked up with Gus Honeybun on Westward Television. She moved on to national BBC, hosting Pebble Mill and her own Radio 2 show where she interviewed some of the biggest stars of the day. She is now a columnist and writer for regional publications and a keen supporter of several local charities. Her ready wit and engaging humour mean she is much in demand as host for award ceremonies and festivals… and she’s the first to say she owes it all to Gus!
When it comes to wildlife on TV, Nick Baker is the total package – an edgy, exciting presenter with knowledge, drive, passion, humour and charisma. Nick has travelled the globe for C5, Animal Planet, National Geographic and the BBC. He’s also an accomplished author, an engaging speaker and a passionate hands-on conservationist. He lives on Dartmoor and in his spare time – whenever that is - he’s the singer in a five-piece rhythm and blues band.
Wild Planet Trust Chair of Trustees Dr Paul Chanin said: “The Trust is delighted that Judi and Nick have agreed to become patrons - their high profiles, both nationally and locally, will be of great benefit to us in our conservation work and in promoting our vision of a world rich in wildlife and wild places.”
Nick Baker said: "Wild Planet Trust is so much more than three leading South West zoos and a National Nature Reserve. It’s also a world leader in field research and the advancement of conservation projects both in practical terms in the wild and through captive husbandry. It educates and informs and sets an example to all who step foot inside one of its premises. It leads by example in dealing head-on with topical concerns such as palm oil and plastics. For all these reasons and many more, I support Wild Planet Trust."
Judi Spiers said: "I am very proud that, at a time when the future of wildlife and the habitats they depend on is in the balance, the South West, through Wild Planet Trust, is not only raising awareness but is leading the way in conservation at home and globally.”