Sir David Attenborough opens Oundle School house

Sir David Attenborough at Oundle School.
Sir David Attenborough at Oundle School.

One of the UK’s national treasures opened a new house at Oundle school name after his friend.

Broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, known all over the world for his nature programmes, visited the school on Friday (September 28) to open Scott House.

Sir David Attenborough at Oundle School.

Sir David Attenborough at Oundle School.

Scott house is named after conservation pioneer and WWF creator Sir Peter Scott, who Sir David, 92, became close to in the 1950s and 1960s when they both presented wildlife programmes for the BBC.

Sir Peter was a pupil at Oundle School between 1923 and 1927 and the Scott House emblem bears the image of a shoveler duck drawn by Sir Peter while he was studying there.

Headteacher Sarah Kerr-Dineen said: “Having Sir David with us to honour the memory of Sir Peter Scott has been a privilege.

“We were so pleased that he accepted our invitation and the children who met him and heard his inspiring talk will always remember this day.”

Together with Sir Peter Scott’s daughter Dafila, Sir David spent time in the beautifully restored Grade I Listed home for the first years at Oundle School, talking to pupils about Sir Peter and his legacy.

He has said he views Sir Peter as the patron saint of conservation and was delighted to come to Oundle and honour his friend.

At a talk in the Great Hall at Oundle School, pupils were thrilled to hear Sir David speak about his friendship with Sir Peter, and how much he had been inspired by him to follow his own amazing journey of highlighting the dangers to the natural world.

He spoke movingly of Sir Peter as ‘the kindest of men and the greatest of British citizens’ before making everyone laugh about Sir Peter’s love for the Loch Ness Monster.

Fiona Quiddington, housemistress of Scott House, is keen to ensure the pupils learn and become inspired by the life Sir Peter led, in preserving conservation locally and further afield.

She said: “Scott House represents a new era at Oundle School.

“To be named after a man who led such a diverse and fascinating life – not only a world-renowned conservationist but a naval officer, painter and Olympic sportsman – Scott House hopes to inspire every child who passes through its doors.

“Knowledge of the natural world is being lost with every generation and we will educate and engage our pupils to ensure they take a natural lead in conservation efforts going forward.”

It was Sir Peter’s father Captain Robert Falcon Scott who, in his last letter from the Antarctic as part of the ill-fated Terranova expedition, gave the instruction to Sir Peter’s mother, Kathleen, to “make him interested in natural history”.

He spent his entire life following his parents’ ideals, passing the mantle on to the world through his global and local initiatives to protect wildlife.