A lasting memorial to Pilton’s greatly-missed community champion Dave Butt has been planted a short distance from his home.

Dave Butt, pictured during the Pilton Festival, was a staunch community champion. Picture: Barbara Fryer PhotographyDave Butt, pictured during the Pilton Festival, was a staunch community champion. Picture: Barbara Fryer Photography

Rotary Gardens in Pilton now has a new tree, planted in the memory of the former district councillor, who worked tirelessly on behalf of his community.

On Wednesday, August 14 the cherry tree was planted by his children Caroline, Amy and Paul, while a seat was dedicated to his memory.

The seat was made from a large 200-year-old oak tree that was felled at around the same time Dave passed away unexpectedly aged 63 in April 2016.

Some 70-plus people turned out to honour a man who was such a prominent figure in North Devon, as a district councillor, tireless fundraiser, staunch member of Barnstaple Rugby Club and organiser with so many things, including Pilton Green Man and the Amigos charity as well as Children's Hospice South West.

Amigos volunteer Dave Butt and CEO Phil Pugsley donned sumo suits to promote a Fun Day.Amigos volunteer Dave Butt and CEO Phil Pugsley donned sumo suits to promote a Fun Day.

Dave was also instrumental in helping to create a World War One memorial at Rotary Gardens.

Speaking at the planting ceremony, his son Paul thanked North Devon Council, parks officer Mike Jones and Dave's lifelong friend Malcolm Prowse for making the memorial tree and bench possible.

He said: "Dad gave so much to others it is nice for us to give something back with this lovely memorial and to have this space to remember him. We love him so much and miss him dearly.

"I look at my little girl Grace and her granddad passing away when she was only five days old, so she will sadly grow up not knowing him.

"So this gives her somewhere to come to as she gets older and can see how much her granddad was loved and respected here."

Mr Prowse, who knew Dave from the age of 11, said he had never heard anyone have a bad word to say about him.

He said: "His great attribute was loyalty and to everything he got involved in - the people here, the council, his life, the local charities, the community and of course, rugby.

"He had time to do all these amazing things in his life and how he found time I will never know - he always had time and huge amounts of energy for every project he got involved in and always made sure that he succeeded."