As a 37-year fixture of Dudley Zoo & Castle, Dr Dave Beeston has made an outstanding achievement to the sector driving improvements at his beloved Dudley and more widely across the sector. At the point of his retirement, Dr Beeston has been awarded Honorary Membership of BIAZA as a reflection of his achievements.
Appointed by Geoffrey Greed in 1978, Dr Beeston went from an initial six-month contract to establish an education service to be a powerhouse in the development of zoo education. At Dudley he forged lasting relationships with Higher Education institutions including Wolverhampton, Keele and Birmingham Universities. In 1983 Dr Beeston became a permanent zoo employee and continued to work and develop educational facilities, resources and programmes, presenting educational sessions to over 20,000 students. Since then he has improved record keeping at Dudley, designed outreach and education resources, and co-wrote "Conservation and Research at DZG: Making Time for the World’s Rarest Animals–Towers and Tectons" with long term associate and friend, Ian Hughes.
Outside of Dudley Zoo, Dr Beeston become a huge presence across the community. Among his other achivements he was a founding member of the BIAZA Records Group, has been a major supporter in the establishment of the DMZAA course with Sparsholt College and guided innumerable students to achieve great success. Former students include five winners of the BIAZA Student of the Year, the current curator at Dudley, a former Director of ZSL and many, many keepers across BIAZA collections.
Those students will pay testament to his incredible knowledge and affable nature. Writing in support of Dr Beeston, Dudley Zoo & Castle Director, Derek Grove writes:
“Many in post as keepers today within his own zoo and other collections around the UK will pay testimony to Dave’s unstinting support as author and advisor during their career development. It is no exaggeration to say that not a few would agree that his support in times of difficulty and crisis meant the difference between success and failure. His many colleagues and friends are well aware that this has not just been a job for Dave but part of his life; Dave would even say it is in his DNA.”
“The Zoo community can reflect with great satisfaction on a contribution that leaves an undeniable legacy and he will be a hard act to follow.”
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