Tributes Paid To David Bellamy Who Campaigned To Save Gunnersbury Triangle

Famous botanist supported the fight to keep Chiswick nature reserve


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Tributes have been paid to the naturalist and broadcaster David Bellamy, who has died aged 86. He was a prominent supporter of the campaign in the early 1980s to save the Gunnersbury Triangle nature reserve in Chiswick.

david bellamy in chiswick
David Bellamy in Chiswick during the campaign to save Gunnersbury Triangle nature reserve

Chiswick resident, Jan Hewlett of Gunnersbury Triangle Steering Group said: 'David Bellamy's death is a sad loss to the environmental movement, but reminds us of the important part he played in nature conservation world-wide, especially from the 1970s-90s. Up till then nature conservation had been dominated by the need to protect large mammals and birds, but David had a wonderful way of getting ordinary people interested in plants too and thereby highlighting the importance of conserving whole habitats with all their amazing array of species.

'Here in W4, he took a keen interest in the Gunnersbury Triangle campaign, giving our team much-needed professional advice and helping to raise its public profile A few weeks before the Pubic Inquiry in 1983, I remember one of the Developers' team saying ' Once we saw David Bellamy in the woodland, we knew we were in trouble!'

He also signed a petition in 2012 against the residential development of Colonial Drive during the HOOT (Hands Off Our Triangle) campaign, though the development was given the go-ahead by Ealing Council.

The Public Inquiry in 1982, at that time set a precedent in the UK in its ruling that urban nature should be favoured over commercial development.

David Bellamy was president and co-founder of the Conservation Foundation in 1982. Director and co-founder, Chiswick resident David Shreeve, described him as 'a larger-than-life character who became a very special friend and teacher. He inspired a whole generation with his wide range of interests and enthusiasm, which knew no bounds. The Conservation Foundation was very special to him and so today is very sad for all of us.'

London-born Bellamy was a household name as a TV personality, scientist and conservationist. He was inspired as a boy in his love of nature by the books of Sir Arthur Ransome, author of Swallows and Amazons. He and his wife Rosemary , who predeceased him last year, had five children.

He taught botany at Durham University and was a regular screen presence presenting programmes on the natural world and conservation, for which he won many awards.

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December 12, 2019

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