World-renowned butterfly scientist Dr Martin Warren has been awarded with an OBE for services to the environment in the New Year's Honours List.
Martin, 62, who has just retired as Chief Executive of wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation, has devoted his working life and the majority of his spare time to protecting butterflies and moths.
He has played a hugely important role in increasing the public’s awareness of butterflies and moths and has helped provide the roadmap for how we protect them for future generations.
Martin completed his PHD on butterfly ecology at Cambridge University and later worked as a butterfly ecologist for the Nature Conservancy Council, giving advice on more than 300 important sites.
He joined the fledgling Butterfly Conservation in 1993 as its first ever member of staff, becoming chief executive ten years later.
Under his tenure the organisation has quickly grown beyond recognition. Butterfly Conservation now employs more than 70 staff, manages 34 reserves and runs the world’s largest insect citizen science project, the Big Butterfly Count, amongst several leading recording schemes.
Martin has published more than 300 scientific papers and reports and is co-author of several books. BBC Wildlife Magazine has voted him one of the UK’s top 10 conservationists.
Famously modest, Martin also gets his hands dirty by helping to manage Butterfly Conservation’s reserve at Alners Gorse in North Dorset.
Dr Warren said: “During my career I have tried to shine a spotlight on the plight of butterflies and moths and understand what this means to the future of our planet.
I am deeply honoured to be to receive this award but it is as much a tribute to my colleagues at Butterfly conservation who have done so much to help reverse the fortunes of these beautiful insects and improve the environment for future generations.”
Julie Williams, Acting Chief Executive said: “One of the reasons why UK butterflies and moths have such a high profile is the lifetime’s work of Martin.
“His unstinting dedication in standing up for our beleaguered butterflies and moths has long been an inspiration to BC staff and the wider wildlife conservation community.
“To be recognised in this fashion is a fitting tribute for his unique contribution to the UK’s wildlife heritage."