Hundreds pay tribute to tragic farmer

Hundreds of mourners packed a fenland church yesterday to remember a farmer found drowned in a drain near his home.St Edmund's Church at Emneth, near Wisbech, was filled with friends and family, many standing, who had gone to pay their last respects to Richard Herbert.

Hundreds of mourners packed a fenland church yesterday to remember a farmer found drowned in a drain near his home.

St Edmund's Church at Emneth, near Wisbech, was filled with friends and family, many standing, who had gone to pay their last respects to Richard Herbert.

During the service, the father of three was described as warm spirited and a devoted family man who loved the countryside.

A eulogy was read by family friend Paul Coulten, who said Mr Herbert had a lifelong love of the countryside and loved nothing more than walking his dogs in the lanes.

He said Mr Herbert was most content when at home at Marshland St James with his family. He had loved tending to his garden and the family farm. He was a devoted father to daughters Victoria, Isabelle and Grace and a loving husband to wife Juliet.

The Rev Dawn Mason, who led the service, said: “He was a loving, caring husband, brother and father and he had laid a good foundation of love for his daughters, and that's a gift for their future.”

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A poem, printed on the order of service and entitled Remember Me, read: “In earthly things I shall be found, a falling leaf, a growing tree, In every breeze you will feel me. I walk in life; death holds no pain. Be assured, we'll meet again.”

Mr Herbert's family wore pastel colours rather than black. The service was followed by private burial.

Donations in memory of Mr Herbert were in aid of the charity, Mind.

Friends and family had said Mr Herbert was worried by a letter threatening him with legal action over plans to build a wind farm on his land.