Obituary: Retired conservation officer dies, aged 93
- Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY
A retired council conservation officer “passionate about the outdoors” has died at the age of 93.
Raymond Alan McLeod first began his career in Norfolk during the 1970s and worked on a number of projects for both Norfolk County Council and Broadland District Council.
Known by all as Alan, he was born in Bromley, Kent, in 1928, and was the youngest of three brothers.
He attended local schools, before accepting a place at Shoreditch art college in London. Forced to rethink his plans after the Second World War broke out, he worked on a farm before joining the army.
After 1945, he worked abroad in Canada but returned to England when he discovered it was not feasible to open his own farm there.
He went on to pass national forestry exams and dedicated himself to working in conservation. As a young man, he moved to Norfolk and began working as a forestry and conservation officer for Norfolk County Council before transferring to Broadland District Council.
His wife of 40 years, Mary McLeod, said: “He was involved with so many different projects during his life. He had worked in various private estates, from Yorkshire to Suffolk. He also won an award for a woodland he designed, which he was able to visit it in its mature state before he passed away.”
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The couple, who lived in Old Catton, met on a night out in the city in 1979. In 2019, they moved to Bedford to be closer to family.
Mrs McLeod added: “Alan was a very artistic person. He was dedicated to what he did, he really loved nature, and was an outdoor person. He was never happier than when he was walking through a forest.
“He was also a very modest man, who did not like to be in the spotlight, despite having to do public speaking on some occasions. He had a great sense of humour.”
In his spare time, Mr McLeod created wood carvings and, in later life, took up skiing – a passion he later said he wished he had taken up sooner.
Mr McLeod died on October 20 at Southway Residential Home, Bedford. He was a much-loved husband, father, and grandfather. His funeral took place on November 12.
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