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Norfolk pays tribute to popular broadcaster David Bellamy

PUBLISHED: 10:25 12 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:56 12 December 2019

TV naturalist David Bellamy has died, aged 86. He was a former trustee and honorary vice-president of Pensthorpe Natural Park. Picture: Matthew Usher.

TV naturalist David Bellamy has died, aged 86. He was a former trustee and honorary vice-president of Pensthorpe Natural Park. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2013

The owner of a Norfolk nature reserve has paid tribute to popular broadcaster and scientist David Bellamy and the “wonderful times” they shared.

David Bellamy (right) and Dr George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation, on a visit to Pensthorpe in 2013. Picture: Matthew Usher.David Bellamy (right) and Dr George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation, on a visit to Pensthorpe in 2013. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Mr Bellamy was a former trustee and honorary vice-president of Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham.

The park's owner Bill Jordan said: "As one of our conservation heroes, Deb (his wife) and I were ecstatic when David accepted our initial proposal to become a trustee of Pensthorpe Conservation Trust in 2003.

"Since 2016 David has been an active honorary vice-president and we were overwhelmed by his enthusiasm, passion and dedication to Pensthorpe and the work that we do. "As well as working alongside David, we were also lucky enough to count David as a friend.

"We always admired his shared enthusiasm for educating and inspiring the next generation of conservationists, and David was someone who really led the way in introducing botany and environmental issues to the masses.

"On behalf of our other trustees and everyone at Pensthorpe, we would like to express our condolences to David's family and will fondly remember the wonderful times we shared and the support he has given to Pensthorpe over the years."

London-born David Bellamy was a household name as a TV personality, scientist and conservationist.

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He died on Wednesday, December 11, according to the Conservation Foundation, which he co-founded and was president of.

In a statement, its director David Shreeve said: "He was a larger-than-life character who became a very special friend and teacher. He inspired a whole generation with his wide range of interests and enthusiasm, which knew no bounds."

The botanist, who was 86, was the subject of affectionate impersonation by Sir Lenny Henry and inspired his "grapple me grapenuts" catchphrase.

Mr Bellamy, who lived in County Durham, worked as a plumber before meeting his future wife Rosemary, who died last year. The couple had five children.

Thanks to his distinctive voice and screen presence, he was a popular presenter on programmes such as Don't Ask Me.

He also fronted his own shows, including Bellamy On Botany, Bellamy's Britain, Bellamy's Europe and Bellamy's Backyard Safari. In 1979 he won Bafta's Richard Dimbleby Award.


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