ERIC MEEK, 1947-2017

Bird Watching (UK) - - News Wire -

Bird­watcher, botanist and Orkney UKBS cor­re­spon­dent Eric Meek passed away on Fe­bru­ary 16 af­ter a short and un­ex­pected ill­ness. He had worked as RSPB Scot­land’s Orkney Of­fi­cer from 1981 un­til his re­tire­ment in 2012, and had been awarded the BTO Boddy and Sparrow Award for his pa­per on the breed­ing ecol­ogy and de­cline of the Mer­lin on Orkney, pub­lished in Bird Study. Born in New­cas­tle upon Tyne and brought up in Northum­ber­land, he co-au­thored Northum­ber­land’s avi­fauna, was a ringer and served on BTO com­mit­tees, was chair of the Scot­tish Birds Rar­i­ties Com­mit­tee and the BOU Records Com­mit­tee, and also was a di­rec­tor of the Fair Isle Bird Ob­ser­va­tory Trust. But it is for his work on Orkney that he will be par­tic­u­larly re­mem­bered. He fought to get moor­lands on Main­land made a Site of Spe­cial Scientific In­ter­est (SSSI) – some lo­cal farm­ers who wanted to turn them into pro­duc­tive farm­land, which would have de­stroyed wildlife and bio­di­ver­sity in­ter­est, burnt an ef­figy of Eric in protest, but he took the op­po­si­tion in his stride and quickly re­built re­la­tion­ships with the lo­cals. He is sur­vived by his wife, Aileen, and two chil­dren, Sally and Terry.

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