Cameron Bespolka Memorial Wildlife Talk and Lecture

21st November 2023

Look deep into nature and you’ll understand everything better’ - Einstein.

Winchester College welcomed over 900 local pupils and members of the public on Wednesday 15 November for the annual Cameron Bespolka Memorial Wildlife Talk and Lecture. Guest speaker, Megan McCubbin, ecologist, conservationist, and wildlife presenter, enthralled a packed audience in New Hall in the afternoon and evening with her knowledge, passion, and expertise.

Whilst highlighting species’ vulnerability across the globe to habitat loss and illegal wildlife trade, Megan gave attendees hope through scientists ‘working miracles’ across six continents; from a captive breeding programme to conserve the Northern White Rhino, to the use of satellite imagery to protect remaining colonies of the Emperor Penguin.

Bob (K), President of the College's Natural History Society, summed up the sentiments of all who attended: ‘What I found most elucidating, yet harrowing, about Megan McCubbin’s talk was the fact that ‘rock salmon’ and ‘huss’ were just euphemisms for fried shark, spiny dogfish to be exact, which has caused their populations to plummet by 98%’.

Megan also attended an afternoon tea in College Hall for 100 local pupils and their families and presented prizes to the winners of the Primary Schools Wildlife Competition. 

The creativity of the 175 entries impressed the judges and brought optimism that the younger generation is both deeply concerned about biodiversity loss and determined to bring systemic change to Earth. The legacy of Cameron Bespolka continues to educate us all.

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