Pioneering Norfolk conservationist and charity founder dies

PUBLISHED: 07:32 27 March 2018 | UPDATED: 07:32 27 March 2018

Norfolk conservationist David Cobham, who has died aged 87. Picture: Ian Burt

Norfolk conservationist David Cobham, who has died aged 87. Picture: Ian Burt

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Tributes have been paid to conservation film pioneer and Tarka the Otter director David Cobham.

Mr Cobham, 87, who lived near Dereham, died on Sunday night after suffering a stroke some weeks ago, according to his family.

As well as directing the screen classic, Tarka the Otter, he directed the much-loved children’s series Woof!

The producer, director and author was also a founding member of the Norfolk-based Hawk And Owl Trust, which is now a national conservation charity.

Springwatch host Chris Packham, who was influenced by Mr Cobham, told the Press Association in a statement: “Kind, calm and committed, a great enthusiast with an insatiable passion for birds of prey David leaves a legacy of great books and films and inspiration.

“He was a fabulous mentor and conservationist.”

Mr Cobham made Vanishing Hedgerows, said to be the BBC’s first conservation film.

Vanishing Hedgerows, produced in 1972, tackled the destruction of the countryside from modern farming techniques.

Mr Cobham is survived by his wife, actress Liza Goddard.

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