Guitarist says his wildlife work means more than hit records
Brian May of Queen has turned his estate in Surrey into a wildlife refuge.
May’s grounds, which he bought more than 30 years ago when Queen were at the height of their fame, are home to a collection of injured and orphaned animals which stay in May’s estate until they are ready for release.
The guitarist told The Sunday Times:
“When I’m gone, people will no doubt remember me for Queen, but I would much rather be remembered for attempting to change the way we treat our fellow creatures.”
He added: “I suppose I’ve lived a crazy life, and watching wildlife brings back a sense of tranquility.”
Just some of the animals on the estate include 36 hedgehogs, seven badger cubs and two tawny owls, which form part of May’s Save Me organisation, for which May received an International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) award.
The Queen guitarist said: “Queen is a huge part of my life, but I do have other interests. People know about the astrophysics, but I love gardening, too, and I’ve always been passionate about the welfare of our wonderful British wildlife.”
May, who recently spoke about bringing the band’s late frontman Freddie Mercury to life as an ‘optical illusion’ , in a special 10th anniversary performance of the band’s own musical We Will Rock You, said that: “Freddie was a huge animal lover” and that “he loved his cats more than anything”.
Queen are currently on tour with former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert on vocals. The band had been due to headline Sonisphere festival earlier this summer, though the rock bash was cancelled, with organisers citing, “a very challenging year [that] was more difficult than anticipated”.