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Tributes paid to Scottish conservationist pioneer

This news post is almost 8 years old
 

Tributes have been paid to former John Muir Trust, Ramblers Scotland and National Trust for Scotland chairman Dick Balharry

Dick Balharry 1937-2015
Dick Balharry 1937-2015

Charities and environmental organisations have paid tribute to a man deemed a Scottish conservationist pioneer.

Dick Balharry was a former chair of The John Muir Trust and former interim chairman of The National Trust for Scotland (NTS).

He held positions with Scottish Natural Heritage and was a former president and chairman of Ramblers Scotland, and held the honorary lifetime position of vice-president of the organisation.

We will never forget his boundless enthusiasm, friendliness and his deep love of Scotland's natural treasures. He was feisty and forthright to the very end and we will do what we can to honour his legacy as we strive to protect this country's unsurpassable wild lands.

Mr Balharry passed away on Wednesday aged 77.

Mike Daniels, head of land management at the John Muir Trust, described him as an "inspirational personality, a conservation pioneer who in words and deeds showed how Scotland's land could and should be managed for nature, wildlife and people."

A Ramblers Scotland spokesman said: “We feel very privileged to have had his valuable support and advice on many conservation and environmental issues. He was a key figure at many of our events and our annual conferences and he will be sadly missed.”

An NTS statement described Mr Balharry as “the warmest and most genuine of people, utterly committed to the landscapes he loved and a conservationist to the core”.

Sir Ken Calman, who succeeded Dick as NTS chairman in 2010, added: "On behalf of all the National Trust for Scotland staff and volunteers who knew Dick so well, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the news of his passing. Our deepest sympathies go to his family and friends.

“We will never forget his boundless enthusiasm, friendliness and his deep love of Scotland's natural treasures. He was feisty and forthright to the very end and we will do what we can to honour his legacy as we strive to protect this country's unsurpassable wild lands."

Mr Balharry was born and brought up in the village of Muirhead near Dundee.

He was made an MBE in 1996 for services to conservation and just last Saturday was awarded the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Geddes Environment medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to conservation.

 

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