Your Wildlife Gardening Gateway

Patrons of the Wildlife Gardening Forum

Forum members visiting the Natural History Museum's
 Wildlife Garden during a summer conference.

Chris Baines is one of the great pioneers of wildlife gardening. He built the first wildlife garden ever allowed at Chelsea Flower Show in 1985, and in the same year his television programme Bluetits and Bumblebees, and his book, How to Make a Wildlife Garden, inspired many people to begin gardening with wildlife.

After an early career in landscape contracting, Chris taught landscape architecture at post-graduate level until 1986, when he was awarded an honorary personal professorship at Birmingham City University. Since then he has very successfully combined his professional interests in urban design and water management, conservation and popularising environmental issues through skilful evidence-based writing and broadcasting.

Chris is committed to urban wildlife and wildlife gardening and has a lifetime’s involvement with the voluntary sector and with environmental education. Over 30 years ago he co-founded the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country and he has been a national vice-president of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts for more than 25 years. He is a former trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund and was also a member of the steering board for the BBC's Breathing Places campaign.

He was a founding member of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the Government's former urban greenspace adviser, and is Honorary President of the Association for Environment Conscious Building. He advises the Department for Communities and Local Government on biodiversity aspects of Ecotowns and is an honorary Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management and a Fellow of the Institute of Biology.

In 2004 Chris was presented with the RSPB's annual Medal of Honour for his contribution to nature conservation and sustainable water management. In 2013 he received the Peter Scott Award from the British Naturalists Association. This award is made annually to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to our understanding of natural history and conservation.

Chris has had a distinguished broadcasting career, and was an early presenter on the BBC Countryfile programme, which evolved from his original regional series "Your Country Needs You". The Wild Side of Town, which accompanied a five-part television series of the same name, won the U.K. Conservation Book Prize in 1987. In the same year, Chris recorded an album, The Wild Side of Town of the music from his television series, playing spoons and vocals with the folk-rock group Albion. He works from home in inner city Wolverhampton

...bringing nature closer to home
Forum Patron
Chris Baines
speaking at the Awards Ceremony for the Big Wildlife Garden Competition run by The RHS and The Wildlife Trust and supported by the UK Government.  The event took place at the Hampton Court Flower Show in July 2012