A Focus on Nature was founded by an eclectic group of individuals, passionately committed to promoting nature conservation to our younger generations. Amongst them were Pete Gamby, a representative of the British optical company, Opticron; multi-disciplinary academic, birder and broadcaster Dr Rob Lambert of the University of Nottingham; television producer, broadcaster, author and naturalist Stephen Moss; and Lucy McRobert.
Between them, an idea was hatched at Birdfair 2011 at Rutland Water. 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. Both 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, and have been in the running of the network ever since.
From their onwards, the initiative has grown. Seeing the potential of such a scheme in encouraging a generation of dedicated conservationists from all backgrounds and across a variety of careers, Opticron has added more individuals to their scheme, and now intends to allow A Focus on Nature to grow beyond their own limitations. Run now as a separate organisation, yet sponsored currently by Opticron who generously sponsor the network, AFON reaches out to young nature conservationists, playing a pivotal part in realising a youth conservation movement in the UK.