David Bellamy

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For the singer, see The Bellamy Brothers.
David Bellamy OBE
David Bellamy 4 Allan Warren.jpg
David Bellamy in 1981
Born (1933-01-18) 18 January 1933 (age 83)
London, England, UK
Education Sutton County Grammar School; Chelsea College of Science and Technology (now part of King's College London); Bedford College (now part of Royal Holloway, University of London)
Employer Durham University
Known for botanist, author, broadcast presenter, environmental campaigner
Spouse(s) Rosemary Froy (m. 1959)
Children 5

David James Bellamy OBE (born 18 January 1933) is an English author, broadcaster, environmental campaigner and botanist. He has lived in County Durham since 1960.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bellamy went to school in London, attending Chatsworth Road Primary School Cheam, Cheam Road Junior School and Sutton County Grammar School, where he initially showed an aptitude for English Literature and History; he then found his vocation because of an inspirational science teacher, studying at faculty of Biological Sciences: Zoology, Botany, Physics and Chemistry in the sixth form.[2] After he left school he worked as a laboratory assistant at Ewell Technical College[3] before studying for an Honours degree in Botany at Chelsea College of Science and Technology. In 1960 he became a lecturer in the Botany department of Durham University.[4]


He first came to public prominence as an environmental consultant at the time of the 1967 Torrey Canyon oil spill;[5] he wrote Effects of Pollution from the Torrey Canyon on Littoral and Sublittoral Ecosystems, which was published in Nature [2]. He has written and presented some 400 television programmes on botany, ecology, and environmental issues. Bellamy is the originator, along with David Shreeve and the Conservation Foundation (which he also founded), of the Ford European Conservation Awards and has published scientific papers (between 1966 and 1986) and many books.

During the early 1980s he was a popular presenter of television programmes, including Bellamy's Backyard Safari.[6] He was parodied by Lenny Henry on Tiswas with a "grapple me grapenuts" catchphrase. He once lent his distinctive voice to an advert for the blackcurrant drink Ribena, which claimed that 95% of British blackcurrants were used in Ribena. (This has now been changed to "Nearly all British blackcurrants are used in Ribena".)[citation needed]

During the 1980s he replaced Big Chief I-Spy as the figurehead of the I-Spy range of children's books, to whom completed books were sent to get a reward. In 1980 he released a single written by Mike Croft with musical arrangement by Dave Grosse to coincide with the release of the I-Spy title I Spy Dinosaurs, a title exploring the subject of dinosaur fossils, entitled "Brontosaurus Will You Wait For Me?" (backed with "Oh Stegasaurus"). He performed it on Blue Peter wearing an orange jump suit. It reached number 88 in the charts.[7]

In 1983 he was jailed for blockading the Australian Franklin River in a protest against a proposed dam. On 18 August 1984, he leapt from the pier at St. Abbs Harbour into the North Sea. In the process he officially opened Britain's first Voluntary Marine Reserve, the St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve. In the late 1980s he fronted a campaign in Jersey, Channel Islands, to save Queens Valley, the site of Bergerac's cottage, from being turned into a reservoir because of the presence of a rare type of snail, but was unable to stop it. In 1997 he stood unsuccessfully against the incumbent Prime Minister John Major for the Referendum Party. Bellamy credits this campaign with the decline in his career as a popular celebrity and television personality, stating in 2002:[8]

"In some ways it was probably the most stupid thing I ever did because I'm sure that if I have been banned from television, that's why. I used to be on Blue Peter and all those things, regularly, and it all, pffffft, stopped."

He is a prominent campaigner against the construction of wind farms in undeveloped areas. This is despite appearing very enthusiastic about wind power in the educational video Power from the Wind[9] produced by Britain's Central Electricity Generating Board.

In 2010 Bellamy starred in an advert for Churchill Insurance Company, in which The Churchill Dog house sits for Bellamy.

In 2011 David Bellamy made a guest appearance for the BBC's Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage in the episode on Corfu and Greece.

David Bellamy is the President of the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) and is a strong supporter of the BICSc plan to educate young people to care for and protect the environment. The David Bellamy Awards Programme is a competition designed to encourage schools to be aware of, and act positively towards, environmental cleanliness. The 2010/2011 Awards are now accepting applicants and further information on this can be found on the BICSc website.

Bellamy is a patron of the British Homeopathic Association and also the UK plastic recycling charity Recoup Recoup since 1998.

Views on global warming[edit]

In his foreword to the 1989 book The Greenhouse Effect,[10] Bellamy wrote:

"The profligate demands of humankind are causing far reaching changes to the atmosphere of planet Earth, of this there is no doubt. Earth's temperature is showing an upward swing, the so-called greenhouse effect, now a subject of international concern. The greenhouse effect may melt the glaciers and ice caps of the world causing the sea to rise and flood many of our great cities and much of our best farmland."

Bellamy's later statements on global warming indicate that he subsequently changed his views completely. In 2004, he wrote an article in the Daily Mail in which he described the theory of man-made global warming as "poppycock".[11] A letter he published on 16 April 2005 in New Scientist asserted that a large percentage (555 of 625) of the glaciers being observed by the World Glacier Monitoring Service were advancing, not retreating.[12] George Monbiot of The Guardian tracked down Bellamy's original source for this information and found that it was Fred Singer's website. Singer claimed to have obtained these figures from a 1989 article in the journal Science, but no such article exists.[13] Bellamy has since stated that his figures on glaciers were wrong, and announced in a letter to The Sunday Times in 2005 that he had "decided to draw back from the debate on global warming".[14]

His opinions have changed the way in which some organisations view Bellamy. The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts stated in 2005 "We are not happy with his line on climate change",[15] and Bellamy was succeeded as president of the Wildlife Trusts by Aubrey Manning in November 2005.[citation needed]

In October 2006 the New Zealand Herald reported that Bellamy had joined the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, a group trying to refute what they believe are unfounded claims about man-made global warming[16] In May 2007 Bellamy and Jack Barrett jointly authored a paper in the refereed Civil Engineering journal of the Institution of Civil Engineers entitled 'Climate stability: an inconvenient proof'.[17] In this report they argue that the widely prophesied doubling of carbon dioxide levels from natural, pre-industrial levels was not only unlikely but would also amount to less than 1 degree C of global warming.

In June 2007, The New Zealand Centre for Policy Research (founded by Muriel Newman formerly an MP in the neo-liberal ACT Party) published an opinion piece by Bellamy stating amongst other things that "There are no facts linking the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide with imminent catastrophic global warming".[18]

Bellamy complained in November 2008 that his views on global warming has resulted in rejection for his BBC TV programme ideas.[19] The Guardian newspaper has stated that Bellamy last made a television programme in 1994, which was some ten years before his first public statement showed scepticism about climate change being man-made.[20]

Bellamy is a signatory to the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change, a project by the Heartland Institute which calls for the immediate halt to any tax funded attempts to counteract climate change or reduce CO2 emissions, and suggests the consensus among climate scientists is "false".[21]


Bellamy also holds or has held these positions:

President of:

Vice president of:

Trustee, patron or honorary member of:

Honours and awards[edit]

Bellamy has been awarded an Honorary Dr. of Science, degree from Bournemouth University. He is the recipient of a number of other awards:


Bellamy has written at least 45 books:

  • Bellamy on Botany (1972) ISBN 0-563-10666-2
  • Peatlands (1973)
  • Bellamy's Britain (1974)
  • Life Giving Sea (1975)
  • Green Worlds (1975)
  • The World of Plants (1975)
  • It's Life (1976)
  • Bellamy's Europe (1976)
  • Botanic Action (1978)
  • Botanic Man (1978)
  • Half of Paradise (1978)
  • Forces of Life (1979)
  • Bellamy's Backyard Safari (1981)
  • The Great Seasons (with Sheila Mackie, illustrator; Hodder & Stoughton, 1981)
  • Il Libro Verde (1981)
  • The Mouse Book (1983)
  • Bellamy's New World (1983)
  • The Queen's Hidden Garden (1984)
  • I Spy (1985)
  • Bellamy's Bugle (1986)
  • Bellamy's Ireland (1986)
  • Turning The Tide (1986)
  • Bellamy's Changing Countryside (1987)
  • England's Last Wilderness (1989)
  • England's Lost Wilderness (1990)
  • Wilderness Britain? (1990, Oxford Illustrated Press, ISBN 1-85509-225-5)
  • Moa's Ark (with Brian Springett and Peter Hayden, 1990)
  • How Green Are You? (1991)
  • Tomorrow's Earth (1991)
  • World Medicine: Plants, Patients and People (1992)
  • Blooming Bellamy (1993)
  • Trees of the World (1993)
  • The Bellamy Herbal(2003)
  • Fabric Live: Bellamy Sessions (2004)
  • Jolly Green Giant (autobiography, 2002, Century, ISBN 0-7126-8359-3)
  • A Natural Life (autobiography, 2002, Arrow, ISBN 0-09-941496-1)
  • Conflicts in the Countryside: The New Battle for Britain (2005), Shaw & Sons, ISBN 0-7219-1670-8

Discovering the Countryside with David Bellamy[edit]

Bellamy was "consultant editor and contributor" for this series, published by Hamlyn in conjunction with the Royal Society for Nature Conservation:


Bellamy has contributed forewords or introductions to:

A Celebration of Flora and Fauna of the Bible

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thompson, Elspeth (3 May 2006). "Counties of Britain: Durham by David Bellamy". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  2. ^ Daily Mail, 14 April 2012, Weekend Magazine p.12.
  3. ^ Salter, Jessica (19 November 2009). [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/6598056/Eco-hero-David-Bellamy-botanist-and-campaigner.html publisher =Daily Telegraph "Eco hero: David Bellamy, botanist and campaigner"] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 27 May 2014.  line feed character in |url= at position 119 (help)
  4. ^ Bellamy, David (2001). A Natural Life. Century. 
  5. ^ "David Bellamy: I was shunned. They didn't want to hear". The Independent on Sunday. 13 January 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Bellamy's Backyard Safari at Wild Film History. Retrieved 1 July 2014
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (2002-09-30), The Green Man, London: The Guardian, retrieved 2008-11-07 
  9. ^ Jenkins, N. (September 1990), "European Wind Energy", The Environmentalist 10 (3): 230–231, doi:10.1007/BF02240360. 
  10. ^ Boyle, Stewart; Ardill, John (1989), The Greenhouse Effect, London?: New English Library, ISBN 0-450-50638-X 
  11. ^ Global Warming? What a load of poppycock! by David Bellamy, Daily Mail 9 July 2004.
  12. ^ http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18624950.100-glaciers-are-cool.html
  13. ^ Monbiot, George (2005-05-10), Junk Science, London: Guardian.co.uk, retrieved 2008-11-07 
  14. ^ Bellamy, David (2005-05-29), In an Adverse Climate, London: Times Online, retrieved 2008-11-07 
  15. ^ Leake, Jonathan (2005-05-15), Wildlife Groups Axe Bellamy as Global Warming 'Heretic', London: Times Online, retrieved 2008-11-07 
  16. ^ Kiong, Errol (2006-10-19), Bellamy Warms to Scientists Scepticism on Climate Change, New Zealand Herald, retrieved 2008-11-07 
  17. ^ Bellamy, David; Barrett, David (2007-05-01), "Climate stability: an inconvenient proof", Civil Engineering (Thomas Telford Journals) 160 (2): 66, doi:10.1680/cien.2007.160.2.66 
  18. ^ Bellamy, David (2007-06-24), The Global Warming Myth, The New Zealand Centre for Political Research, retrieved 2008-11-07 
  19. ^ David Bellamy, The price of dissent on global warming, The Australian 25 November 2008
  20. ^ Randerson, James (4 December 2009). "Coalition of denial: The sceptics who are trying to reshape the climate debate". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 5 December 2009. 
  21. ^ "Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change" (Press release). The Heartland Institute. March 4, 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  22. ^ "All aboard for a heritage trip down memory lane". Sunderland Echo newspaper. 27 April 2005. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  23. ^ Hhasoc.org
  24. ^ Campingandcaravanninglucb.co.uk
  25. ^ YPTE: Presidents
  26. ^ "Governance". The Conservation Volunteers. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  27. ^ "Nature in Art – Trust". Nature in Art Trsut. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  28. ^ http://www.nationalgamekeepers.org.uk/about-national-gamekeepers-organisation/ngo-moorland-branch
  29. ^ "Patrons". Butterfly World Project. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  30. ^ ProjectAware.org|Project AWARE Foundation
  31. ^ TreeAppeal.co.uk
  32. ^ "Colin Mcleod Award". British Sub Aqua Club. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
New position
President of Plantlife
Succeeded by
Adrian Darby
Preceded by
President of the Wildlife Trusts
Succeeded by
Aubrey Manning

External links[edit]