This week two of my former colleagues at the RSPB have passed away: Roy Taylor and John Lanchbery. They were both wonderful colleagues full of knowledge and good humour. They probably didn’t have huge amounts in common apart from their dedication to the environmental cause and their expertise and commitment to it.
Roy Tayler. Photo: Tim Melling
Roy was a birder, an enthusiast and a do-er. He has been described by colleagues as a conservation entrepreneur – a good description. He passed away early this morning. He had been ill for many years but his passing was still a shock.
I remember visiting Roy in Sussex in his early years at RSPB when he was studying Song Thrushes. It was a hot day and we ate a lot of ice creams! When I saw Roy at Fairburn Ings last year we both recalled the ice creams.
When one left Roy’s company one always felt that one whould be doing more – like Roy was. He was dynamic to say the least.
John Lanchbery was a world-renowned expert on climate change. When he was present at international meetings many journalists took their lines from John because they trusted him and knew he understood both the science and the politics of the subject.
The video above gives a good impression of him.
I last saw John, by chance, on Monday: as I was leaving Kings Cross station I saw him and only had time to exchange a smile and a brief ‘hello!’. John, I’m told went home on Tuesday feeling a bit ill and passed away on Wednesday night.
John was a lovely man with a gentle way about him and a deep understanding of his subject.