Neil Ellis 

Neil Ellis – Trustee Board Member

Neil Ellis

Trustee Board Member

A little bit about me. The great outdoors has always held a deep fascination for me. From being overawed by the beauty – and latent power – of a snow-capped volcano, to shivering at the stark cold of a boggy post-glacial moor that harbours the remains of now-extinct mammoths, our natural world never ceases to inspire and amaze me. It’s a compelling story, one of change and upheaval. Often the pace of change evolved imperceptibly over the eons.

But humans are now leaving an indelible footprint on that natural backdrop at ever-increasing rates. I have a strong desire to leave the planet in as good a condition as I remember it being when I was a child, for future generations to appreciate as much as I did as a child full of wonder of the wildlife and the rocks, waters and air in which it thrived. For some people, every leaf of every tree tells a story, and I could understand that, watching the bugs in my parents’ garden.

But I have always been drawn to the very rocks and stones of which our planet – it is temporarily ours. after all – is made. At first I was attracted to the pretty stones and pebbles, but soon begun wanting to know why and how they came into existence, and what amazing stories they can tell, if only they could speak. This led to my study of natural sciences as an emerging adult, in particular, geology. Armed with a degree from Cambridge University I eventually was blessed with a long career working for a Government agency as an adviser in nature conservation and our ‘Earth heritage’.

It was sometimes a labour if love cutting through the red tape to achieve a goal for conserving our natural surroundings, but well worth it, and I leavemy legacy is a series of books (the Geological Conservation Review) which record the best parts of the geology of the UK, which was arguably the ‘cradle’ of the newly developing Earth sciences more than 200 years ago.

Alongside my scientific interests, music has been a major feature in my life, in clarinet, saxophone and piano, and I try to share the knowledge of these things with students that I have had the challenging pleasure of working with. I hope to be able to continue to pass on that knowledge and inspire the next generation of budding naturalists, scientists and musicians. To seek a harmony between us custodians of the planet and its precious cargo of plants and animals.

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