Lost to the UK since Roman times, according to Ben Macdonald – conservation writer, field director in wildlife television and keen naturalist – the enormous Dalmatian pelican might once again be spotted (no pun intended) gliding across our marshes and wetlands.  Along with John Arbon from WWT’s London Wetland Centre, Ben describes the dramatic decline of the bird population in the UK over the past 2000 years and the hopes for the future rebirding of the country.  Pockets of diverse wildlife as seen on John’s patch at Barnes could spread and be re-established.  Not a flight of fancy but an exciting, realisable vision.

Our guests:


Ben Macdonald is a conservation writer, field director in wildlife television, and naturalist, passionate about restoring Britain’s wildlife, pelicans very much included, in his lifetime.   In television he has worked on projects for the BBC, ITV, Netflix and Apple.

Sir David Attenborough’s Our Planet (Netflix), a series Ben worked on for three years, was awarded two Emmy’s in September this year.  His first book, Rebirding – on rewilding Britain’s landscapes, birds and rural jobs – is now available for sale online and from all major bookstores.

(Follow this link to order from independent local book stores who will deliver)

me and cow(1)

John Arbon is the Grounds and Facilities manager at WWT’s London Wetland Centre in Barnes – an urban oasis for wildlife and people, close to central London.

John has an extensive background and experience in aviculture and reserve management. He has worked for WWT since 1972 and has had roles at their Peakirk and Welney reserves.  He started at the London Wetland Centre in 2000.