The ecology of the world has evolved around insects. They are the pollinators, major carnivores, herbivores and recyclers. They sustain our diet. Most animals eat insects. Insects are ecologically vital! And they are in crisis. We speak to Matt Shardlow, the Chief Executive of Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, and Dr George McGavin, zoologist, broadcaster and author, whose recent book “The Hidden World” offers a fascinating insight to how insects sustain life on earth today and will shape our lives tomorrow.
Matt is Chief Executive of Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust – the only organisation in Europe committed to saving all invertebrates; the charity has forty staff members and delivers improvements for little animals on the ground and in policy. Buglife’s priorities include putting bees and flowers back into the countryside; bringing endangered species back from the brink; and saving key sites for bugs from destruction – making room, making space safe and developing friendlier relationships with bugs.
George McGavin studied Zoology at Edinburgh University, followed by a PhD in entomology at Imperial College and the Natural History Museum in London. After 30 years as an academic, mostly at Oxford University, he became an award-winning television presenter. George is an Honorary Research Associate of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and an Honorary Principal Research Fellow at Imperial College. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and an Honorary Life Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. In 2019 George became the President of the Dorset Wildlife Trust. His latest book is ‘The Hidden World: How Insects Sustain Life on Earth Today and will Shape Our Lives Tomorrow’ (Welbeck.)