Frank Fraser Darling

FRANK FRASER DARLING (1903 – 1979) was born in a farm stable near Chesterfield. Aged 15 he ran away from school and worked in the Pennines. At agricultural college he met ‘Bobbie’ (Marian Fraser), a fellow student who became his first wife in 1925. He gave up farming in Buckinghamshire for a PhD at Edinburgh University in 1928, and later won a research fellowship to study red deer in the Scottish Highlands. In 1937 he moved to the remote Summer Isles to observe seals and seabirds, and during this time became a pioneer of human ecology. Alongside his scientific work, he wrote many popular books about natural history, including A Herd of Red Deer (1937), Island Years (1940), Island Farm (1943) and the Collins New Naturalist Natural History of the Highlands (1947).

Listen to Frank Fraser Darling’s groundbreaking Reith Lectures of 1969, Wilderness and Plenty, which foretold a human-made climate change.