Sunday, 16 June 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Sunday, 16 June 2024

Leading nature conservationist appointed as Chair of the Scottish Seabird Centre

AWARD-winning marine conservation and education charity, the Scottish Seabird Centre, has appointed Stuart Housden, OBE as Chair of its Board of Trustees.

Formerly RSPB Scotland’s Director, Stuart brings a wealth of charity experience and networks to the role, alongside a life-long knowledge and passion for nature conservation. He is currently a member of the National Lottery Heritage Fund where he has continued to be an advocate of the need to invest in Scotland’s natural assets.

Announcing the appointment, Susan Davies, CEO of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said:

“We are delighted that Stuart has been selected as our new Chair. His appointment is particularly welcome as we enter the United Nations Decades of Ocean Science and Ecosystem Restoration, and step up our own work to support these global commitments to reverse the damage to our marine environment and the decline in many of our iconic seabirds. These global initiatives provide a backdrop to why it is so important that we continue our conservation, learning and science communication activities in Scotland.

“Although this continues to be a challenging time for our charity, with the doors to our visitor centre once again closed under the latest COVID-19 restrictions, we are optimistic about the future.

“In Stuart, we have someone who is ideally placed to quickly pick up the reins from our retiring Chair David Windmill, who expertly steered the charity for eight years, not least through these most turbulent times.”

Speaking about his new role Stuart said:

“I am honoured to have been selected to chair the Scottish Seabird Centre, and look forward to meeting the many volunteers, and supporters that have achieved so much in the charity’s first 20 years.

“Scotland’s marine environment, and the incredible numbers of seabirds that travel the oceans to either nest or winter around our coasts each year, are of truly international significance. We take them for granted at our peril, and they serve as a barometer of the health of our coasts and seas. Sadly a number are in rapid decline.

“Our marine environment is under considerable pressure, from the effects of climate change and how we use the seas, with fishing, offshore developments and marine litter amongst the more obvious issues. The Scottish Seabird Centre will, I hope, play a vital part in a future partnership working to find and encourage the recovery of Scotland’s marine wildlife resources, by informing more people about the positive actions they can take, so providing even greater benefits for people across Scotland. We want these great marine wildlife spectacles to continue to inspire future generations and enthral visitors from far and wide.

“The charity is lucky to have such a dedicated and professional staff team, who are well placed to build on past successes.

“I would like to thank David Windmill for his wisdom and hard work these past 8 years, he hands on the reins with the charity in sound health.”

The Scottish Seabird Centre’s change in Chair comes at a time when the charity is looking towards a brighter future building on the success of the recent refurbishment of its marine Discovery Experience, and an increased focus on its conservation and education charitable activities.

The charity received widespread support, including from naturalists and TV personalities Chris Packham and Simon King, in response to its urgent COVID-19 funding appeal in Spring 2020.

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