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Charles Waterton the Naturalist

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Charles Waterton (born 3rd June 1782, died 27th May 1865).
Squire of Walton Hall near Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Traveller, Naturalist and Conservationist.
Affectionately accorded the title "Squire" by the locals in the Walton and surrounding area. This pioneering naturalist opened what is now recognised as the World's first nature reserve in the grounds of his estate at Walton Hall near Wakefield in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Over some 30 years he recorded 123 species of birds in Walton Park (Waterton Park).

His great interest in nature took him to both South and North America. His travels were recorded in his book 'Wanderings in South America, The North-West of the United States, and The Antilles in the Years 1812, 1816, 1820 & 1824'.

Waterton's Nature Reserve

Waterton's enclosure of his property, after he came to reside on it, by a continuous high wall, and his banishment of the gun within its circumference - through which acts he instituted, so far as I know, the first bird-sanctuary, so that, in my opinion, it is his statue that ought really to be set up in Hyde Park.
Edmund Selous, 1st May 1925.
Introduction in Waterton's Wanderings.

Better kinde frembd than frembed kyen.

Waterton Coat of Arms
Charles Waterton
Squire of Walton Hall

A fine old English Gentleman

"Among the social and literary celebrities of the century,
it would be impossible to omit mention
of an old and valued friend,
the great naturalist, Charles Waterton."
Mrs William Pitt Byrne,
Social Hours With Celebrities,
Gossip of the Century
, 1898.

■ The front page picture includes part of the painting of
Charles Waterton by Charles Willson Peale.
The full painting is displayed elsewhere on this site courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery in London.
The painting itself is in the National Portrait Gallery.


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