Bob Edwards was Chair of York Natural Environment Trust (YNET) when they agreed to take on the task of managing the land owned by the National Rivers Authority (NRA) that abutted the planned York to Beningbrough cycle track that Sustrans had proposed. The NRA had decided that they would only give permission if someone managed the adjacent fields for nature.
This was no easy task as the land had been ‘poached’ by overgrazing but with some help from other members of YNET the land was eventually improved. Bob also chaired a meeting a few months later in the boardroom at Clifton Hospital that was well attended by the local community to establish the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows. The rest as they say is history.
It is with sadness that I felt the need to try to ensure that York residents were aware of the recent untimely death of Bob Edwards who had moved to Cumbria from York in 2008, where he managed the Oxfam shop in Cockermouth and continued to actively campaign for green causes.
Among the many things Bob did in York was to help found York Natural Environment Trust, the Friends of St Nicolas’ Fields and the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows, along with being a Ward Councillor for Hull Road in York, where he lived for many years. He had also worked in the finance team at York CVS from 2003 – 2008, prior to his move to Cumbria.
Bob was tireless in York in campaigning for the environment, along with getting his hands dirty in managing it.
Our thoughts are with Elaine and family at this time but when Bob moved from York he left a big hole, now his death leaves a bigger one in the world. He was a great believer in ‘think globally, act locally’ and I hope York people will continue to do so in his memory.
In the picture below from 1990 the empty grassland where Bob is standing on the photo would now be completely unrecognizable, he’s standing at the boundary with Clifton Sports Club and to his right are now a lot of coppiced hazels, the funnel running down towards the Pond whose spoil it was made from, along with the twin mounds which host nationally important colonies of the critically endangered Tansy Beetle. There’s also the N65 cycle track going left to right across the picture. Behind him is a sward now recognised as the internationally rare MG4 grassland. Bob helped dig that pond, plant those trees and much, much more…