Will Scott, a volunteer at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, can usually be found spotting rare migrant birds on the East Yorkshire reserve.


But last week, it was his turn to be spotted – and given with an award from the National Biodiversity Network. 


19 year old Will from Hunmanby, who’s in his second year at Lincoln University studying Ecology and Conservation, received his award as runner-up in the Young Person’s category from eminent British ecologist, Sir John Lawton

during a ceremony at Nottingham’s Albert Hall on Wednesday 13 November. He was presented with a certificate, a copy of the Bird Photographer of the Year book and £100 of Opticron vouchers.


Will’s award was in recognition of his work in actively recording and monitoring birds locally as well as his commitment to engaging and connecting others with the natural world. 

Most recently, Will was involved with visible migration recording and he also led guided walks during the autumn Filey and Flamborough Ringing and Migration Week.  And while hemainly records birds, he also undertakes general recording of insects – mainly moths, butterflies and dragonflies.


Will was thrilled to be singled out from nominees from all over the country:

‘Wildlife is a huge part of my life and I am very fortunate to live in an area that’s so rich in stunning natural landscapes and amazing birds.  Playing my part in citizen science projects and contributing to the wealth of information collected nationally is important both on a personal level and in helping provide a bigger picture of the health of the nation’s wildlife.  This year’s State of Nature Report shows, once again, that nature is in serious trouble.  Sharing information is one way that will help us fight back against the loss of species and habitat and if I can inspire other young people to get involved too, happy days’.


Dave O’Hara, Site Manager at RSPB Bempton Cliffs said:

‘We’re chuffed to bits for Will.   He’s extremely knowledgeable but crucially has the ability to impart what he knows in a down-to-earth way.  The award is much deserved recognition for lots of hard work and dedication.  We’re sure he has a great future ahead of him in the world of conservation.’


The National Biodiversity Network is a membership organisation built on principles of collaboration and sharing.  Its overarching vision is to ensure that biological data collected and shared openly by the Network are central to the UK’s learning and understanding of its biodiversity and are critical to all decision-making about nature and the environment.