On Wednesday 17th November, 400 local pupils from ten primary schools attended our annual Cameron Bespolka Memorial Lecture in New Hall.

The guest speaker, Jonny Owen from the Dorset Wildlife Trust enthralled the young audience with a dolphin-eyed view of diverse marine life in Poole Harbour and the English Channel, before describing the perils of warmer waters, more acidic waters and plastic waters on Dorset’s marine fauna and bird life. Jonny’s talk, ‘A wilder future’ which was in memory of Cameron, highlighted the importance of young people becoming both young conservationists, and catalysts for change to protect our oceans from human threats.

Jonny spent an hour with Winchester’s NHS at the Outdoor Classroom before joining 80 children, their parents and representatives of Hampshire’s wildlife organisations for a special celebratory tea in College Hall. The numerous entries for a Schools’ Wildlife Garden Design competition were on display in College Hall. The panel of judges included our Head Gardener, Alan Smith and Cameron’s father, Kevin Bespolka.

Two pupils from Winnall Primary School and Sparsholt C of E Primary School were elated to win the fabulous prize of a day out for their respective classes at Cameron’s Cottage in the RSPB Franchises Lodge Nature Reserve in the New Forest, and the Brownsea Island Nature Reserve, generously donated by The Cameron Bespoka Trust and the Dorset Wildlife Trust.

The attendees queue up to hear  a highly entertaining talk from Jonny Owen