Peter Hope Jones – a stalwart and pioneer of ornithology in Wales

We learnt with great sadness of the peaceful passing of Peter Hope Jones in the early hours of Monday 13th July 2020. The text below is taken from the citation for his richly deserved WOS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Peter Hope Jones was bought up in Prestatyn and went to college at Bangor
to study Forestry. Whilst there he became involved with the University Bird
Group, and involved himself in the monthly wildfowl counts on the Anglesey
lakes. On leaving university he secured a post at the new Observatory on Fair
Isle under Peter Davis where he learned the dark arts of ringing, following this
up with two years in the Camargue studying migration.
On returning to Wales he became the Nature Conservancy’s warden for
Newborough Warren, studying and protecting the small breeding population of
Montagu’s Harriers. In 1965, Peter moved to Meirionnydd where he had
responsibility for the nine National Nature Reserves, and where his studies
led to the publication of Birds of Meirioneth and several other pieces of work,
including a joint publication with Peter Davis of the first annual report on Birds
in Wales.
In the mid 1970s, Peter’s focus became seabirds. After his work following the
wrecks of the Amoco Cadiz in Brittany and the Christos Bitas in
Pembrokeshire, Peter devised what is to this day the standard practice for
data-handling following such incidents.
Peter settled back in Anglesey in 1983 and again worked on seabirds before
studying Black Grouse for the RSPB, and later the Countryside Council for
Wales. During this time he found time to write the History of Bardsey, and as
its first chairman helped organise the first conference of the fledging Welsh
Ornithological Society. By 2012 he had 148 published pieces of work. The
science of Ornithology and the birds of Wales would be poorer place if it were
not for the not insignificant efforts of this most modest of men.

He will be sorely missed by the birding and conservation communities – both inside and outside of Wales.

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