Strictly Come Dancing champion Hamza Yassin opens nature protection centre at Waddesdon Manor

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A Strictly Come Dancing champion and nature lover was given the honour of opening a new conservation hub at an Aylesbury Vale beauty site.

Hamza Yassin, the wildlife cameraman and presenter who works with the BBC, opened the new nature hub at Waddesdon Manor.

Visitors will be able to access the new conservation centre which will showcase wildlife, habitats, landscape and conservation projects authorised by the National Trust.

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Hamza, who won the 2022 series of Strictly Come Dancing, opened the centre on Saturday (8 June). The 34-year-old, who describes himself as a 'nature-nerd', met with fans at the Bucks event and hung around after the opening to speak with some fellow wildlife lovers.

Hamza Yassin in WaddesdonHamza Yassin in Waddesdon
Hamza Yassin in Waddesdon

He also held court, hosting a talk about wildlife, birds, and photography. Hamza said: “I am thrilled to be part of this exciting new initiative. The Conservation Hub at Waddesdon Manor is a testament to the importance of nurturing our natural habitats and educating the next generation about the wonders of wildlife.”

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The National Trust has also revealed plans to use the new hub to host interactive workshops, wildlife camera streams and nature trails. Also, the national conservation charity, hopes to hold meet-and-greet sessions with staff members, who can pass on knowledge around sustainability initiatives.

Dickon Leigh-Wood, sustainability lead, at Waddesdon, added: “We are excited to launch the Conservation Hub for our visitors. It provides a unique and enriching opportunity to learn about our conservation efforts and engage in new ways with the natural beauty that Waddesdon has to offer. Supporting biodiversity and habitats is vital to us all, and the balance of the planet. We can all play a part, and we’re hoping that this will inspire people to get involved in whatever way they can.”

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Hamza’s visit is one of the events linked to Waddesdon Manor’s Flights of Fancy summer-long programme, dedicated to birds.

From 22 May to 27 October 2024, the National Trust property is hosting an array of bird-themed exhibitions, interactive events and outdoor activities.

An exhibition has also been opened inside the Manor as part of the project. Guests can find the work of Louis-Denis Armand, who specialised in painting birds, during his lifetime in 18th century France.