Posted 5 November 2013
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Veterinary surgeon and television presenter, Steve Leonard, shared experiences of working with wildlife both here and abroad, during a talk to around 220 Harper Adams University staff and students last week.
The event was organised to celebrate the first students to enrol on the new BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation with Natural Resource Management degree course.
Steve, who has starred in programmes such as Vet School, Orang-utan Diary and Natures Newborns, was welcomed to the campus with a visit to the Companion Animal House where he met with staff and students, and learned of the new Veterinary Services Centre, due for completion next year.
He then presented a 40-minute talk in the recently completed Weston Building lecture theatre, about working with wildlife - exploring issues such as conservation and human impact on the planet.
Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Science, Nicky Hunter, said: “We were delighted that Steve found the time in his busy schedule to come to Harper Adams to deliver such a motivating and inspirational talk.
“The students, staff and visitors were captivated by his engaging and amusing delivery. Having a speaker with such extensive wildlife experience is very useful for our student’s wider university experience”.
Following a question and answer session, Steve talked to students from the new wildlife degree course, about career options and their thoughts on current issues affecting global wildlife.
Amy Kennedy, one of the new wildlife students, said: “I really enjoyed Steve Leonard’s talk - the amazing experiences he shared with us and his passion in conservation has confirmed that this is what I want to do with my life.
“He gave a very inspirational talk and the sentence, just put your hand up because someone has to do it and why can’t that be you, really made me think about how he is right. We have so many opportunities now and I don't want to look back and think I should've put my hand up.
“I want to look back and think, I have had the most amazing experiences and I know I have made some kind of difference in conservation.”
Second year countryside and environmental management student, Andrew Smithson, also attended the talk. He said: “I didn't really know what to expect from Steve, as 'wildlife' is such a broad subject to create such a short presentation on.
“I found his opinions and approach to the subject in general really insightful, and he was a really engaging speaker.”