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Tributes to North Devon naturalist Trevor Beer MBE

PUBLISHED: 11:22 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:21 27 June 2017

Trevor Beer and Willow on Saltings next to the Taw Estuary. Picture: Endymion Beer

Trevor Beer and Willow on Saltings next to the Taw Estuary. Picture: Endymion Beer

Endymion Beer

Well known wildlife author and naturalist Trevor Beer MBE has died aged 80

Trevor Beer looking out over Braddiford Water at Pilton. Picture: Endymion BeerTrevor Beer looking out over Braddiford Water at Pilton. Picture: Endymion Beer

Tributes have been paid to ‘true countryman’, wildlife author, artist and columnist Trevor Beer MBE.

The North Devon naturalist, environmentalist and ‘big cat’ expert passed away in hospital on Wednesday aged 80, with his family at his bedside.

He leaves his wife Rosemary, children Robin, Stephen, Mark, Carol and Paul plus several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

His dearest friend Endymion Beer, who also visited him the final hours, said: “Trevor’s readers will miss him too, they all wrote such lovely letters.

Trevor Beer at a book signing. Picture: Endymion BeerTrevor Beer at a book signing. Picture: Endymion Beer

“Thank you for all the messages for him. I hope it brings you comfort to know that I did relay them and that he heard all of your many blessings.”

A special service of remembrance will be held at the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin in Pilton on Monday, July 10 at 2pm.

The family requests no flowers but donations to the British Naturalist’s Association may be given at the service or c/o W S Gayton & Son, Lauderdale, Bickington, Barnstaple.

Endymion added: “It has been a privilege to work alongside Trevor for almost 30 years. He has been an inspiration and was my best friend. No-one can fill his shoes. I will miss him very much.”

Trevor’s wide-ranging career could easily fill a book and in fact he produced several, but he is perhaps most well known for his column in the Western Morning News.

He continued writing on natural history for the paper, Exmoor Magazine and Dartmoor News until the last days of his life.

In years past Trevor was also a regular contributor to the then Gazette and Advertiser, and was often asked to comment on wildlife or natural history stories.

Trevor produced many nature books, including tourist guides on natural history subjects, nature, farm and urban trails, plus book illustrations including finely detailed black and white line drawings. He was a leading authority on the big cats in Britain situation and on folklore and has led hundreds of guided walks over many years.

Trevor’s achievements are almost endless, he served as a Pilton councillor for 25 years, he was a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and of the Zoological Society and he worked on numerous projects with young people.

He rescued thousands of wild animals and birds over the years and supported many causes such as Devon Wildlife Trust through donations of his artwork.

He was also a staunch opponent against development at Mannings Pit in Pilton. Following his passing, Endymion wrote on Facebook: ‘An old haunt of Trevor’s drew me to it and I walked through the woods as if I was letting the wood and all the animals know.

“He did so much for wildlife that it felt appropriate. Being in the open air seemed to help. I half expected to find Trevor and his old friend, Vincent, sitting together on a seat chuckling and swapping stories about bats, otter havens and butterflies.”

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