By Olga Potts
Almost thirty years ago Dick asked me to marry him whilst we were sitting on the banks of Birkdale Tarn in North Yorkshire.
There followed many memorable occasions:
The first time I met Malcolm Brockless, gamekeeper on the Salisbury Plain Experiment. I was hurried from the school where I was teaching and we raced to Salisbury Plain to see a Black Winged Stilt. I had not had time to change from a short skirt and three inch heels as I was bundled into the Landrover – Malcolm must have had a few thoughts about “not being dressed for the job”.
Being introduced to his many Yorkshire relatives at Christmas and wondering why anyone would want to eat Christmas cake with Wensleydale Cheese washed down with sweet Sherry.
Having a surprise fiftieth birthday party for him at home about which he was completely oblivious despite having his car confiscated for the day.
Introducing him to Shakespeare, Opera and Modern Art – he still didn’t get Georgia O’Keefe, the last exhibition we went to in London late last year.
All those amazing trips to far-flung places around the world where we have so many friends, whose work and careers he so influenced.
Many of you have written to me with your own memories, both personal and professional, and a common thread runs through them. I list a few:
“Dick had more influence on my life than anyone else.”
“Someone who revolutionised farmland research.”
“One of the most inspirational people I have ever met.”
“He succeeded in making the countryside a better place for all its individuals.”
“Epitome of honesty, dedication and integrity.”
“A true friend and a very good man.”
“An almost ever-young person.”
We can all keep his work going by supporting the next generation of ecologists.
Please support the Dick Potts Legacy Fund