Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 50 Derek Moore 1943-2014
Derek died after long battle with cancer on 23 October 2014. He had a lifelong dedication to natural history that was spurred on by a legendary Suffolk ornithologist, schoolteacher GBG “Chris” Benson, whom he met when he attended the Sir John Leman Grammar School in Beccles after he passed his Eleven Plus exam. Peter Lawson (see p. 95) was a prefect in the year above him at the same school and many years later, when Peter joined SWT, Derek reminded him of the detention he had given him. Derek went on to became an epitome of the new breed of naturalist-conservationist – passionate, driven and doggedly determined to protect nature against any threat it faced. He served as County Bird Recorder and Editor of Suffolk Birds 1978-1985 when the Bird Report became a separate publication Suffolk Birds. He also served for many years on the Suffolk Ornithological Records Committee. He was a key player in the establishment of the Suffolk Ornithologists’ Group and the Landguard Bird Observatory and was responsible for raising the profile of Suffolk ornithology both within the county and further afield. Derek was Chairman of SNS from 1982-1984 before taking on Director of Suffolk Wildlife Trust 1985-1999. He was also a people’s man, promoting the cause of environmental education in its very early days and leading the way in opening up nature reserves to people at a time when many conservation organisations restricted access to permit holders. His ambitious ideas to help wildlife recover and his outspoken nature were legendary. He loved largescale habitat restoration projects, was a proponent of the concept of ‘rewildling’. He moved on to head up the conservation department of what was to become known as The Wildlife Trusts, the umbrella organisation that unites all 47 UK wildlife trusts, and then continued his high-flying conservation career as leader of what became The Wildlife Trust for South and West Wales. Derek was a tremendous raconteur and lived a full and colourful life. He was gregarious and had friends all over the world, developed from his many birding trips abroad. He was awarded an OBE for services to nature conservation in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 1999. It was an honour that gave him a sense of pride that he sometimes joked just pipped the thrill he felt when he won the coveted Bird Brain of Britain title in a fiercely-fought quiz competition at the British Birdfair at Rutland Water the following year. He retired in 2004 and continued to live in Wales, in the remote village of Salem, Carmarthenshire.
Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 50 (2014)
Published on Jun 2, 2016