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David J. Bellamy OBE (born 18 January 1933) is a Britishmarker botanist, author, broadcaster, environment campaigner and DJ.


Bellamy was born in Londonmarker, Englandmarker. He was brought up as a strict Baptist. He attended Cheam Fields Primary School in Cheam, Surrey before going on to Sutton County Grammar Schoolmarker, Suttonmarker; Chelsea College of Science and Technology (now part of King's College Londonmarker); and Bedford College (now part of Royal Holloway, University of Londonmarker), in Londonmarker. He originally trained as a botanist at Durham Universitymarker, where he later held the post of Senior Lecturer in Botany until 1982, and still holds the post of Honorary Professor for Adult and Continuing Education.

Bellamy and his wife Rosemary, whom he married when he was 19, have five children.


Bellamy first came to public prominence as an environmental consultant at the time of the 1967 Torrey Canyonmarker disaster. He has written and presented some 400 television programmes on botany, ecology, and environmental issues. Bellamy is the originator, along with David Shreeve and the Conservation Foundation (which he also founded), of the Ford European Conservation Awards and has published over 80 scientific papers and many books.

In 1980, he released a cover version of the song "Brontosaurus Will You Wait For Me?" (b/w "Oh Stegasaurus") which he performed on Blue Petermarker wearing an orange jump suit. It reached number 81 in the charts. During this period he was a popular television presenter. He was parodied by Lenny Henry on Tiswas with a "grapple me grapenuts" catchphrase. He once voiced an advert for the blackcurrant drink Ribena, which claimed that 95% of British blackcurrants were used in Ribena. (This has now been changed to "Nearly all British blackcurrants are used in Ribena".)

During the 1980s he replaced Big Chief I-Spy as the figurehead of the I-Spy range of children's books and to whom completed books were sent in order to receive a reward.

In 1983, he was jailed for blockading the Australian Franklin River in a protest against a proposed dam. On 18 August 1984 he leapt from the pier at St. Abbs Harbour into the North Sea. In the process he officially opened Britain's first Voluntary Marine Reserve, the St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve. In 1997 he stood unsuccessfully against the incumbent Prime Minister John Major for the Referendum Party. Bellamy credits this campaign with the decline in his career as a popular celebrity and television personality, stating in 2002:

"In some ways it was probably the most stupid thing I ever did because I'm sure that if I have been banned from television, that's why.
I used to be on Blue Peter and all those things, regularly, and it all, pffffft, stopped."

He is a prominent campaigner against the construction of wind farms in undeveloped areas. This is despite appearing very enthusiastic about wind power in the educational video Power from the Wind produced by Britain's Central Electricity Generating Board.

Views on global warming

In his foreword to the 1989 book The Greenhouse Effect Bellamy wrote:

"The profligate demands of humankind are causing far reaching changes to the atmosphere of planet Earth, of this there is no doubt.
Earth's temperature is showing an upward swing, the so-called greenhouse effect, now a subject of international concern.
The greenhouse effect may melt the glaciers and ice caps of the world causing the sea to rise and flood many of our great cities and much of our best farmland."

Dr Bellamy's later statements on global warming indicate that he subsequently changed his views completely. In 2004, he wrote an article in the Daily Mail in which he described the theory of man-made global warming as "poppycock". A letter he published on 16 April 2005 in New Scientist asserted that a large percentage (555 of 625) of the glaciers being observed by the World Glacier Monitoring Service were advancing, not retreating. George Monbiot of The Guardian tracked down Bellamy's original source for this information and found that it was Fred Singer's website. Singer claimed to have obtained these figures from a 1989 article in the journal Science, but no such article exists. Bellamy has since stated that his figures on glaciers were wrong, and announced in a letter to The Sunday Times that he had "decided to draw back from the debate on global warming".

His opinions have changed the way in which some organisations view Bellamy. In 2005 a spokesperson for the charity Plantlife, of which Bellamy had been president for 15 years, stated that "it would be wrong to ask him to continue [as president]". The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts stated in 2005 "We are not happy with his line on climate change", and Bellamy was succeeded as president of the Wildlife Trusts by Aubrey Manning in November 2005.

In October 2006 the New Zealand Herald reported that Bellamy had joined the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, a group of scientists trying to refute what they believe are unfounded claims about man-made global warming In May 2007 Bellamy and Jack Barrett jointly authored a paper in the refereed Civil Engineering journal of the Institution of Civil Engineers entitled 'Climate stability: an inconvenient proof'. In this report they argue that the widely prophesied doubling of carbon dioxide levels from natural, pre-industrial levels was not only unlikely but would also amount to less than 1 degree C of global warming. Here Bellamy is cautious in his criticism. He does not go as far in criticising the alleged CO2 greenhouse effect as Australia's Dr David Evans, who reports that no trace of a greenhouse effect has been found during several decades of temperature measurements of the upper atmosphere.

In June 2007, The New Zealand Centre for Policy Research (founded by Muriel Newman formerly an MP in the neo-liberal ACT Party) published an opinion piece by Bellamy stating amongst other things that "There are no facts linking the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide with imminent catastrophic global warming".

Bellamy complained in November 2008 that his dissent from global warming has resulted in rejection for his BBC TV programme ideas.


Bellamy also holds or has held these positions: Recipient of:


Bellamy has written at least 45 books:
  • Bellamy on Botany (1972) ISBN 0-563-10666-2 (A short and accessible introduction to botany)
  • Peatlands (1973)
  • Bellamy's Britain (1974)
  • Life Giving Sea (1975)
  • Green Worlds (1975)
  • The World of Plants (1975)
  • It's Life (1976)
  • Bellamy's Europe (1976)
  • Botanic Action (1978)
  • Botanic Man (1978)
  • Half of Paradise (1978)
  • Forces of Life (1979)
  • Bellamy's Backyard Safari (1981)
  • The Great Seasons (with Sheila Mackie, illustrator; Hodder & Stoughton, 1981)
  • Il Libro Verde (1981)
  • The Mouse Book (1983)
  • Bellamy's New World (1983)
  • The Queen's Hidden Garden (1984)
  • I Spy (1985)
  • Bellamy’s Bugle (1986)
  • Bellamy's Ireland (1986)
  • Turning The Tide (1986)
  • Bellamy's Changing Countryside (1987)
  • England's Last Wilderness (1989)
  • England's Lost Wilderness (1990)
  • Wilderness Britain? (1990, Oxford Illustrated Press, ISBN 1-85509-225-5)
  • How Green Are You? (1991)
  • Tomorrow's Earth (1991)
  • World Medicine: Plants, Patients and People (1992)
  • Blooming Bellamy (1993)
  • Trees of the World (1993)
  • The Bellamy Herbal(2003)
  • Fabric Live: Bellamy Sessions (2004)
  • Jolly Green Giant (autobiography, 2002, Century, ISBN 0-7126-8359-3)
  • A Natural Life (autobiography, 2002, Arrow, ISBN 0-09-941496-1)
  • Conflicts in the Countryside: The New Battle for Britain (2005), Shaw & Sons, ISBN 0-7219-1670-8

Discovering the Countryside with David Bellamy

Bellamy was "consultant editor and contributor" for this series, published by Hamlyn in conjunction with the Royal Society for Nature Conservation:
  • Coastal Walks (1982; ISBN 0-600-35588-8)
  • Woodland Walks (1982; ISBN 0-600-35658-2)
  • Waterside Walks (1983; ISBN 0-600-35636-1)
  • Grassland Walks (1983; ISBN 0-600-35637-X)


Bellamy has contributed forewords or introductions to:
  • Chris Packham's Back Garden Nature Reserve New Holland Publishers, Chris Packham, (2001) ISBN 1-85974-520-2
  • The Cosmic Fairy Arthur Atkinson [pseudonym for Arthur Moppett] [Colin Smythe Limited Publishers], 1996, ISBN 0-86140-403-3
  • British Naturalists Association Guide to Woodlands J L Cloudsley-Thompson
  • While the Earth Endures Creation, Cosmology and Climate Change Philip Foster [St Matthew Publishing Ltd]. (2008)

See also


  1. Promoting Anthropogenic Global Warming, 23 December 2008
  2. No Smoking Hot Spot, 22 July 2008
  3. David Bellamy, The price of dissent on global warming, The Australian November 25, 2008

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