Lady Scott 1918 – 2010 PHILIPPA Scott was the widow of the late Sir Peter Scott, who founded the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in 1946. Lady Scott remained passionate about and heavily involved with WWT for more than 60 years, starting in 1947 when she joined the staff as Peter Scott’s secretary and, in later years, as Honorary Director.

She married Peter Scott in Iceland in 1951 on a trip to find the breeding grounds of the pink footed goose. They have a son, Falcon, who is a civil engineer, and a daughter, Dafila, who is a scientist and an artist. Lady Scott was also very close to Sir Peter’s elder daughter, Nicola.

Lady Scott was a crucial player in the development of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. She has been an active member of WWT Council and lived in the grounds of WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire in the home which was made famous by Peter Scott’s television broadcasts for Look. From the studio overlooking the lake Peter and Philippa were able to start their famous studies of the Bewick’s swans overwintering on the lake, identifying unique bill patterns for each one.

The series Faraway Look took Sir Peter and Lady Scott around the world, as did his international conservation work.

She was a keen and talented professional photographer: an associate of the Royal Photographic Society, her photographs illustrated the books Far-away Look I and II and Animals in Africa and three volumes of Travel Diaries of a Naturalist – all of which were written with or by Sir Peter Scott.

She was an accomplished author – first publishing a collection of her late husband’s paintings shortly after he died in 1989 – The Art of Peter Scott. She has since published two volumes of her autobiography – Lucky Me and So Many Sunlit Hours, and recently published a completely revised edition of The Art of Peter Scott which was launched at her 90th birthday party in 2008 by Sir David Attenborough. She donated all proceeds to WWT.

Lady Scott was also a keen scuba diver and Honorary Member of the British Sub-Aqua Club and President of the Cotswold Branch. She was Patron of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and President of the Society for Wildlife Art of the Nations.

Lady Scott was born in Bloemfontein in South Africa and spent her childhood on a farm on the high veldt of South Africa, spending holidays with relations in England and Scotland. She became a keen mountain climber in her younger days and spent carefree holidays in Europe between the wars. When the Second World War came, she volunteered for the Land Army but after three years had secured a job in intelligence at Bletchley Park, before then getting a job with the Foreign Office in Belgrade.

On returning from her year in Belgrade, she found herself back in Britain, unmarried and with no qualifications. Out of the blue, a friend called to offer her work with Peter Scott. Perhaps surprisingly, the name Peter Scott meant nothing to her (Peter Scott was already famous as a wildlife artist at the time). But the call resulted in a job, as personal secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Severn Wildlife Trust (now WWT) and, a few years later, to her marriage to Peter Scott.

In tribute to Lady Scott, Martin Spray, Chief Executive of WWT, said: "There is a saying ‘Behind every great man is a great woman’, and this was never more true of Lady Scott. She remained committed to and passionate about the work of WWT, holding the post of Honorary Director up until the end of her life. She will be sorely missed by staff, volunteers and members of WWT.

Sir David Attenborough, speaking at Lady Scott’s 90th birthday celebrations in November 2008, said: "Sir Peter and Lady Scott are true greats in the conservation area. I believe that in decades to come, the name Scott will be revered and honoured even more around the world than it is today, because the Scott partnership put conservation on the map. This was at a time when conservation was not a word that more people understood, especially not in a natural history context."