A Focus on Nature was founded in 2012 by a group of very passionate individuals, dedicated to promoting nature conservation to the younger generations. The four founders were environmental historian and nature writer Lucy McRobert; multi-disciplinary academic, birder and broadcaster Dr Rob Lambert; television producer, broadcaster, author and naturalist Stephen Moss; and Pete Gamby, representative of the British optical company Opticron.
The idea was born at Birdfair in 2011. In order to help Lucy’s career in nature conservation to progress, Opticron donated a pair of Discovery 8×32 Binoculars, retailing at £160. As a younger voice in the conservation world, Opticron felt that her passion and commitment should be encouraged, and as a student, it was clear that a good pair of binoculars were out of her price range. Along with Lucy and Pete, Dr Rob Lambert and Stephen Moss recognised the need to promote conservation to the next generation of naturalists, and were instrumental in getting the project off the ground. AFON was created off the back of that successful Opticron initiative to encourage the next generation of naturalists, and has been doing so ever since.
Since its creation, AFON has grown into a self-sustained organisation, ran by a dedicated team of volunteers. The first four years saw Lucy at the helm as creative director, enabling AFON to develop, build partnerships, and make waves through achievements such as our first conference and the Vision for Nature report, released in 2016. After stepping down in 2016, Lucy and her fellow founders continue to be a major support, guiding the committee and ensuring the future of AFON.
AFON and its committee continue to grow, change and develop. The introduction of our regional rep scheme in 2017 has allowed our message to spread, alongside the development of national and international partnerships. Similarly, our second campaign ‘Now for Nature’ continues to progress, driving the youth conservation movement forwards.
A Focus On Nature members meet up at Birdfair