Pioneering Norfolk conservationist and charity founder dies

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

Norfolk conservationist David Cobham, who has died aged 87. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

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.

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'He was a fabulous mentor and conservationist.'

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

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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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