We were delighted to present RSGS Honorary Fellowship to author and conservationist Clifton Bain, for his crucial work towards the conservation of peatlands, and promoting public awareness of their importance.  

Clifton began his career in nature conservation with the RSPB in 1984, allowing him to study birds and their habitats across the UK and engage in high-level campaigning on climate change and biodiversity. Over the last ten years Clifton has worked as Programme Advisor of the IUCN UK Peatland Programme on environmental policy and advocacy to promote the conservation of peatlands. He has also given public talks and written books about peatlands and other ecosystems, highlighting their value to people’s physical and mental health as well as to biodiversity and climate action.

Mike Robinson (left) presenting Clifton Bain with RSGS Honorary Fellowship 

RSGS Honorary Fellowships are prestigious awards conferred for contributions to society and sustainability through the wider discipline of geography, previously awarded to some of the most prominent and influential explorers, academics, writers, leaders, and communicators.

Clifton was presented with his Fellowship at RSGS headquarters by Chief Executive Mike Robinson, who said: “Clifton Bain has worked tirelessly for many years as a national and international champion for peatland ecosystems. Through his work, policymakers and the general public now have a greater understanding of the intrinsic beauty of these natural habitats, their vital importance in supporting an array of remarkable biodiversity, and their essential role in storing large amounts of carbon and helping to combat climate change.

“When Clifton began working in the field of peatland advocacy, they were a largely overlooked and undervalued part of our natural heritage. It is testament to his efforts that they have now become an integral part of day-to-day climate discussions and a central part of Scotland’s conservation strategy. It is then a great honour to include Clifton as an RSGS Honorary Fellow.”

On receiving his Fellowship, Clifton commented: “To be honoured as a Fellow of such a prestigious body as the RSGS means a lot to me and I’m delighted to be recognised for doing the environmental work I love. Through the IUCN UK Peatland Programme, I have had the pleasure of being among so many inspirational people making the connection between conserving nature and tackling the global crises affecting all of society. I’ve been fascinated by the natural world since childhood and spent my career helping raise awareness of the threats to nature and, more importantly, promoting the solutions. I consider myself a wildlife enthusiast and firmly believe that helping people enjoy and experience our natural world is one of conservation’s greatest tools.”