Photo was taken during: “Newts, nadders and neophyte naturalists” – a dramatic interlude (A re-enactment of Maxwell Knight’s childhood encounter with youths and newts at a Surrey pond – John Cooper, Margaret Cooper, Simon King).

A message from John E Cooper, Margaret E Cooper and Simon H King: 

Thank you for your encouragement and support for the Maxwell Knight Symposium (MKS). The day went well and the audience participation and encouragement was fantastic and we hope you enjoyed it.

If you couldn’t attend the event, you can get a good feel for the day here.

We all welcomed this opportunity, fifty years after his death, to commemorate the life and work of Maxwell Knight, the original “nature detective” and Second World War MI5 agent, who influenced so many of us in the 1950s and 60s and his words continue to resonate with us today.

A special mention to supporters:

Rob and Pat Downing for their help documenting the contents of Maxwell Knight’s cabinet and their research into historical matters relating to Knight’s activities.

John E. Haith Ltd (Haith’s) for generously printing publicity materials and caring enough about nature to invest in healthy bird diets.

Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and Mark Rose for taking time out of his busy schedule to reflect upon Maxwell Knight’s influence.

The Linnean Society and Gina Douglas.


The pond dippers, the Foster and Cooper families and Sarah Pellett.

RVC veterinary students, led by Emily Neep who coordinated the registration desk and display areas with clinical precision.

Sally Dowsett for her continued support of the Coopers and for designing Symposium literature.

A/V technicians and other staff at Birkbeck.

Exhibitors and participants.


British Herpetological Society

1) British society logo.jpg

British Chelonia Group


Institute of Animal Technology


Amateur Entomologists’ Society


Wildlife Health Services

Dr David Lonsdale

Mrs Norma Chapman

Wildlife Health Services

A huge THANK YOU to all.

Photo credits for MKS:

John and Margaret Cooper


Paul Budgen

Ron Francis / Surrey Heath Museum

Douglas Fisher / Radar Archive

John Gay / National Portrait Gallery


“Gerald” Photos

Western Daily Press and Bristol Observer

James Vernon