Peter Scott was born in London, on 14th September 1909, and became famous as an ornithologist and painter who made frequent television appearances. He was educated at Oundle and Cambridge University, graduating from Trinity College in 1931. Like his mother, Kathleen, he was a talented artist and had his first exhibition in London in 1933. From his father, Robert, who had died on an expedition to Antartica shortly after Peter was born, he may have inherited his love of water, representing his country in sailing at the 1936 Olympic Games and serving in the navy during World War II. In 1942 he married his first wife Elizabeth Jane Howard, who worked for the Association in the late 1940s. They divorced in 1951.
In 1947 Peter became the first Vice-President of The Inland Waterways Association, a position he held until 1986 when he resigned because of a clash of interests and priorities over the proposed restoration of the river Derwent in Yorkshire. He was also active in the inland waterways cause, cruising extensively on his narrow boat Beatrice including a pioneering trip across the Mersey. He was a member of IWA's Council and a trustee until 1967.
In 1948, he founded the organisation with which he was ever afterwards closely associated, the Severn Wildfowl Trust (now the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) with its headquarters at Slimbridge by the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. He wrote and illustrated several books on the subject, including his autobiography, The Eye of the Wind (1961). He was knighted in 1973.