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Cousins working together on our family owned farm with the aim of running a commercial modern farm producing high yielding, high standard crops while maximising wildlife diversity. Brian is said to be the farmer and conservationist, whereas Patrick is a conservationist and farmer. This mix has given a new direction for the farm, building upon the work that our fathers and grandfather has done to improve the overall success of the farm business. The farm has gone from strength to strength with the farm being recognised at a national level winning the coveted National FWAG’s Silver Lapwing Award for farming and conservation in 2009 and then Patrick and Brian were named Countryside Farmer of the Year by the Farmers Weekly in 2010.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Derek Moore OBE 1943-2014

Derek with Patrick and Brian in 2009 
In the last post I paid tribute to Derek Moore who died following a long illness three weeks ago. Last week we made the 300+ mile trip to West Wales for his funeral and it was a very fitting send off for someone who had achieved so much in his life and was respected and loved by so many people. The humanist ceremony took place at Narberth Crematorium in Pembrokeshire and Tom, Ed and I were given the honour of escorting the coffin into the crematorium along with Derek's son, Jeremy. The four of us also were able to pay our own tribute to Derek by wearing a tie of his. In true naturalist style fashion went completely out of the window as the ties depicted a mixture of frogs, penguins and parrots. By our estimation there was at least 80 people in the crematorium and the same again on different viewing balconies.  The whole service was also streamed on the web so that Derek's grandchildren in Canada could watch as well.

Derek with Bill Oddie
The service consisted of six people giving personal tributes and recalling stories and memories of Derek. Bill Oddie was the first to speak followed by my father David, Iolo Williams, Shaun Thomas the current Director of Operations at the RSPB, the current Chief Executive of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust Julian Roughton and was rounded off in style by Chris Packham. There was also a burst of dawn chorus and a copy of Derek's band Soul Concern playing in the early 1960s. All of the speakers spoke extremely well, from the heart and in very good humour and the very highest tribute is that three of the country's highest profile naturalists were prepared to clear their diaries and be there to pay their tribute and play their part in the day. In fact, Chris Packham had delayed a trip to The Gambia to be there.

There was a very strong contingent from Suffolk including the EADT's environment correspondent John Grant and his report on the day can be viewed (here). It includes some very kind words by Chris Packham about the farm as well. It was good to see many friends there all paying their respects to Derek and one in particular, Lucy McRobert has written a blog about Derek for The Wildlife Trusts which can be read (here).

As we came out of the crematorium there was a break in the Welsh weather and the sun came out creating a rainbow right over us. It was certainly a service and a day that I will never forget and along with David Tomlinson we shared may more stories about Derek all the way home.
The Barker Family in Wales under the Derek Moore rainbow.

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