Jim Sharpe

RICHARD PARR A man with a life-long passion for the countryside and his community, who regularly opened his home and garden to illustrate nature conservation, has died at the age of 89.


Jim Sharpe

Jim Sharpe, who has died at the age of 89, had a life-long passion for the countryside and his community and regularly opened his home and garden to further nature conservation.

Mr Sharpe, was a well-known figure in the area of Denver, near Downham Market and together with Edna, his wife of 68 years, he held regular open days at Orchard House, his Bates Wood home at Whin Common.

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Primrose Time at Bates Wood, bird-ringing days and craft demonstrations were among the popular events staged among the natural gardens of the home where he and his wife had lived since 1948. Bates Wood developed into a natural resource centre, widely renowned as a wildlife sanctuary and centre of countryside culture.

As well as his deep interest in nature conservation, he also had a passionate interest in sport, particularly hockey and cricket, and his name and support were linked to several local clubs. He always encouraged an interest in sport among young people. One of his literary interests was poetry, much of which reflected his love of nature.

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Peter Sharpe said his father was very much a man of the countryside and the community and he loved being with people. He always promoted the cause of his home village and neighbouring villages at every opportunity.

“Everyone knew Jim and because of his out-going personality people warmed to him. He was the sort of person who could galvanise people around him to get things done,” he said.

“Jim was a man of absolute integrity and of strong faith. As a district councillor, he stood as an independent and would always endeavour to take up courses on behalf of individuals.”

Mr Sharpe was a teacher and retired from the former Norfolk College of Art and Technology at King's Lynn (now the College of West Anglia).

The couple also had a second son, John, and three grandsons, Richard, Ben and Sam and one great grandchild.

The funeral service is being held on May 26 at his beloved Denver Church at 2pm and everyone is welcome to attend.

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