Young naturalist honoured for conservation work

Dara Mc Anulty and Kevin Cox, RSPB
Dara Mc Anulty and Kevin Cox, RSPB
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A Co Down teenager is following in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough after being named the youngest ever winner of the prestigious RSPB Medal.

Young naturalist, activist and writer Dara McAnulty,15, was awarded the RSPB Medal at the nature conservation charity’s AGM in recognition of his contributions to conservation.

Dara, who has long been a passionate campaigner for wildlife and nature, received the award from Kevin Cox, chair of the RSPB Council,(pictured) at the event at the QEII Centre in London recently.

He said he was ‘‘incredibly honoured and deeply humbled’’ to be the youngest ever recipient of the RSPB Medal – an award previously given to high-profile recipients including Sir David Attenborough – and vowed that he will “never stop working for nature”.

Dara said: “When I was told I’d won the RSPB Medal, I thought it was a joke, I couldn’t believe that I deserved it. I was given a list of previous winners and made the mistake of looking at it. I have actually had the privilege of meeting three RSPB Medal holders: Prof Sir John Lawton – an incredible scientist and brave individual – MP Caroline Lucas and The Prince of Wales.”

Dara was involved the Youth Climate Strikes in September, which saw countless thousands take to the streets of cites across the UK – including an estimated 4,000 in Belfast – to demand action on climate breakdown. He has also worked with TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham and was one of a dozen young people who fronted the launch of the State of Nature report.