2020 marked the tricentenary of the birth of Gilbert White – a true hero of Hampshire and the natural world, and the naturalist regarded as the ‘father of ecology’.
His observations and studies enlightened people to the changing seasons, and the species activity that it influenced. This evolved into the study of Ecology and Phenology that we know today.
Gilbert White was the first to ‘observe nature narrowly’, and act on it, demonstrating that the individual could make a real and impacting difference. He taught the importance of living in harmony with the natural world, and inspired the thinkers and scientific innovators that came after him.
The Hampshire town of Selborne and its surrounding landscape inspired Gilbert White’s life-long investigation of the natural world, culminating in his world-famous book – ‘The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne’. White’s careful recording of the natural history of Selborne directly influenced the growth and development of the natural sciences and inspired the minds of many, including the renowned naturalist Charles Darwin.