EDP Norfolk - - People -

Ted El­lis spent his life de­voted to nat­u­ral his­tory and was pas­sion­ate about pass­ing on his knowl­edge. A broad­caster, writer and nat­u­ral­ist, he re­mains one of Nor­folk’s most loved fig­tures and his metic­u­lous re­search en­sured his rep­u­ta­tion ex­tended na­tion­wide.

Although he was born in Guernsey in 1909, his par­ents were from Nor­folk and the fam­ily re­turned to Great Yar­mouth when he was a child. For al­most three decades he was Keeper of Nat­u­ral His­tory at Nor­wich Cas­tle Mu­seum, but it was the 130 acres of wood­land, fen and water­ways at Wheat­fen Broad, at Surling­ham, where he lived in a re­mote cot­tage with his fam­ily, which beguiled him and be­came his last­ing legacy to the county.

Wheat­fen, one of the last ti­dal marshes of the Yare Val­ley, is a Site of Spe­cial Sci­en­tific In­ter­est and in re­cent years, var­i­ous pro­jects at the re­serve have helped ful­fil Ted’s am­bi­tions. Not only is it free for the pub­lic to ex­plore and en­joy, the Trust has com­pleted the build­ing of a study cen­tre which can be used by con­ser­va­tion and ed­u­ca­tion groups for talks, meet­ings and work­shops, as well as cre­at­ing a For­est Schools area for lo­cal chil­dren to en­joy learn­ing in a unique en­vi­ron­ment.

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