• Simon Cowell MBE

    19th April 1952 – 9th June 2024

    It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Simon Cowell MBE, conservationist, founder and CEO of the Wildlife Aid Foundation, and presenter of Wildlife SOS. Simon passed away peacefully on Sunday (9th June), surrounded by his daughters, his partner and his dogs, after a brave battle with cancer.

Simon was one of the UK’s most respected conservationists and a passionate advocate for wildlife protection and environmental causes.

He dedicated his life to British wildlife and worked tirelessly to ensure countless injured and orphaned animals were given a second chance in the wild through rescue, clinical treatment, and rehabilitation.

He campaigned relentlessly to raise awareness of the plight of wildlife and the importance of all species.

Simon began rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in his home and garden in the early 1980s, as a distraction from his job as a broker in London. When his career was cut short by stress-induced health problems, the hobby became a full-time job and he established Wildlife Aid (latterly, the Wildlife Aid Foundation) as a charity in 1987.

It grew to become one of Britain’s busiest and most influential wildlife organisations.

In 1997, Simon created, produced, and presented the television series Wildlife SOS for Channel Five and Discovery’s ‘Animal Planet’.

He reported on the plight of animals internationally, including mountain gorillas in the Congo, wolves in northern Russia, and moon bears in Vietnam.

Simon wrote Wildlife SOS, The Owl with the Golden Heart and his autobiography, My Wild Life. In 2005 he was awarded the MBE for services to wildlife. He was a frequent media commentator on environmental matters, sharing his knowledge and promoting conservationism.

When he began rescuing wildlife, Simon soon recognised that the vast majority of perils wildlife faced were a direct consequence of human actions.

This led him to develop iDot, an initiative which encouraged the wider public to commit to undertaking positive environmental actions. The idea that everyone should do one action a day for nature, underpinned his dying wish, to create a new home for the charity he built, with an education centre to continue his legacy.

This project, the Wildlife Aid Centre, is currently being developed and will comprise 20 acres of wetland habitat, a visitor centre and wildlife hospital, on a former ecologically impoverished site adjacent to the M25, .

Wildlife Aid Foundation continues his work and legacy from its base in Surrey under the leadership of Simon's daughter and WAF CEO, Lou Cowell.

Simon believed that every animal matters.

Simon believed that every animal matters. He was committed to redressing the damage man has done to the environment. He was passionate about the importance of environmental education and hopeful for a future in which man respects and protects the natural world.

Simon leaves two daughters, Louisa and Gemma, his partner Stana, and his two beloved goldies, Toby and Bobby.

His loss will be greatly felt by his loved ones, 2-legged and 4-legged, alike.

Simon’s Last Wish – be part of Simon’s legacy

Simon’s dream was to build a better world for wildlife. To do this, he championed the construction of a new Wildlife Aid Centre, one which will allow WAF to care for more animals, and to teach, demonstrate, and inspire the next generation to conserve, and to live alongside, our wildlife. With Simon’s sad passing, we are now calling on you, our loyal wildlife guardians, to help fulfil Simon’s last wish, and be part of his ever-lasting legacy.

We are grateful for any support you can give in memory of our beloved founder, Simon. If you’d like to make a donation in his honour, please do so, below. Thank you for your kind support at such a difficult time.

Flowers in memory of Simon

We've been moved and humbled by the messages of love and support since Simon's passing. Thank you.

For those who wish to send flowers, please consider sending us wildflower seeds, instead.

We will plant these at our new site in memory of Simon, and in support of the local bees, insects and birds that he loved.