Matthew Oates

Specialist volunteer, butterflies

Matthew Oates - Specialist volunteer, butterflies

Matthew is a well-known broadcaster and ecologist with a particular passion for butterflies.

Matthew Oates, our specialist volunteer for butterflies, holding a pair of binoculars

A passion for nature

Graduating in English, Matthew then moved into the world of nature conservation and has been at the National Trust since 1990.
Initially he worked in nature conservation practice, specialising in grazing regimes, scrub management and lowland habitats. He is particularly drawn to people’s relationships with nature, places and seasons, and increasingly the impact of weather on wildlife.
As the former National Specialist for Nature, Matthew worked to help realise the enormous potential of the National Trust in nature conservation, at site and landscape levels. A key part of this is strengthening people’s relationships with nature, in mind and matter, in town and country.
The National Trust’s current Spirit of Place programme is particularly dear to his heart. The programme will collect the views of people who love a place the National Trust cares for, whether that’s a stretch of coastline, an ancient woodland or a country house. Future conservation work will be guided by understanding what these places mean to people.

Public figure

Matthew is also a well known broadcaster. He’s made a number of appearances on BBC Radio 4 - from the Today programme and Shared Earth, to presenting two short series: In Pursuit of the Ridiculous and In Pursuit of Spring.
His TV credits include The One Show, Springwatch, Great British Summer, and Butterflies - A Very British Obsession.
It may come as no surprise that Matthew has more than 100 favourite places, or personal ‘heartlands’, from Rodborough Common in the Cotswolds to Selborne Common in Hampshire and Arnside Knott in Cumbria.
As he says: 'It’s impossible to visit one of our places without discovering something new, often about oneself. My job is a voyage of discovery.'
To get in touch with Matthew please contact our press office on: 0844 800 4955.