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Our Patrons

Patrons of The Owls Trust support us in every activity including rescuing owls, rehabilitating owls and educating people about owls.

The Owls Trust Patrons: Iolo Williams.
Former RSPB Officer Turned TV Wildlife Presenter

Iolo Williams was born in Builth Wells in 1962 and spent the first three months of his life in the village of Beulah. When his father got the job as headmaster of Eglwys Wen Primary School, the family moved to Pembrokeshire. They returned to Powys when Iolo was five and he grew up in Llanwddyn near Lake Vyrnwy. At the beginning of 1985, Iolo got a job with the RSPB and spent the next 14 years working for the organization. During this time, he became a regular on the media – on TV, radio and in newspapers – making a name for himself as a leading expert on Welsh birdlife. His big TV break came in 1997 when BBC Wales approached him to work on a new series called Visions of Snowdonia which followed the lives of six people living and working on the slopes of the country’s highest mountain. He was offered a second series – this time, Iolo was ‘Birdman’ and it’s a name that has stuck. Shortly afterwards, in 1999, Iolo decided to leave the RSPB and pursue a full-time career in the media. He has since filmed many more series with BBC Wales, including Wild Wales, Wild Winter, Iolo’s Special Reserves, Iolo’s Natural History of Wales and his 2005 series, Iolo’s Welsh Safari. He’s also presented programmes made by independent TV company Telesgop for S4C and is now a recognized author with books covering many environmental topics and birds. Iolo still lives in Powys – near the town of Newtown, not far from where he grew up. He is married and has two sons. In 2002 we were very proud to welcome Iolo to The Owls Trust as Honorary Patron.

Iolo’s Website

The Owls Trust Patrons: Frieda Hughes
Poet, Figurative and Abstract Painter

Born in London in 1960 Frieda Hughes is a poet and figurative and abstract painter. She was the UK Times Poetry columnist from 2006 – 2008 and over the years has written for magazines and newspapers such as The Times, The Times Magazine, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Tatler and more, about poetry, motorbikes, wind turbines, gardening, magpies and owls among other things.

Having written a number of children’s books Frieda turned her attention to poetry and her collections to date include Wooroloo, Stonepicker, Waxworks, Forty-Five, The Book of Mirrors, Alternative Values and Out of the Ashes. Alternative Values became her first illustrated collection when Frieda used the subject of her poems to inform the accompanying abstract images, describing her feelings about a gamut of events from the humorous to the deeply personal, including the death of her mother, the poet Sylvia Plath, and her father, the poet Ted Hughes.
Frieda’s most recent poetry collection, Out of the Ashes, is a selection from four of her earlier collections (not including Alternative Values) and is published by Bloodaxe Books UK. She is currently working on two new poetry collections and an art exhibition that is scheduled for October 2021, at the Chris Beetles Gallery in London.

As an artist, one of Frieda’s favourite exhibitions was in Chichester Cathedral in 2017, where they included her mammoth project, ‘400 DAYS’, which was an abstract visual diary of 400 consecutive days painted in oils on 400 canvases. The finished work was approximately 13 feet high and 29 feet long and is now being sold as individual pieces.

Frieda’s interest in owls began shortly after she was born, in fact, she took an interest in all birds, hedgehogs, badgers, sheep, cows, rabbits, and snakes. But in 2010 she was given a Bengal eagle owl with a broken wing that was unwanted, and so began her fascination with owls. Frieda now has 14 assorted owls that needed rehoming for various reasons, two of which came from The Owls’ Trust as they required indoor care, and this is how she came to be a patron. Owls are now also the subjects of many of her paintings.

Frieda Hughes website

The Owls Trust Patrons: Sir Quentin Blake
We are thrilled to announce that, in January 2018, Sir Quentin Blake agreed to become a Patron of The Owls Trust

Sir Quentin Blake was born in 1932. After reading English at Downing College Cambridge, and further education at the London Institute of Education he attended life classes at Chelsea School of Art. Although he has no official art school qualifications he has always made his living as an illustrator, as well as teaching for twenty years at the Royal College of Art. He has illustrated over 300 books, including all the children’s books of Roald Dahl in a celebrated collaboration over forty years. He has worked extensively with other writers such as Michael Rosen, Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken and John Yeoman and has also illustrated his own stories and classics such as ¬Candide, and Don Quixote. In 2013 he received a Knighthood for services for illustration, and he is also a Chevalier of the Lègion d’Honneur.

His interest in owls began early in life when as a schoolboy he put together enough pocket money to buy a copy of Eric Hosking’s “Birds of the Night”. Recently he seized the opportunity to illustrate, in an English version by John Yeoman, Emmanuele Luzzati’s “Three Little Owls”.

During our time together with Sir Quentin Blake, and one of our owls “Woodii”, he promised a quote to simply explain why we are so privileged to be able to call him a Patron. He said this:

“The shapes and behaviour of owls have always fascinated me, and they are always getting into my work, from Mr Magnolia who had some owls who were learning to hoot to oil paintings with figures and flying owls. It’s something very special to be asked to become a Patron of The Owls Trust; not only a privilege but full of interest.”

Quentin Blake’s website