THE TED ELLIS LEGACY
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.