Rare and prestigious Norfolk nature honour awarded to former Sheringham GP

Moss Taylor (right) receives the Sydney Long Memorial Medal from Tony Leech, on behalf of the Norfo

Moss Taylor (right) receives the Sydney Long Memorial Medal from Tony Leech, on behalf of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society. Picture: ROBINA CHURCHYARD - Credit: Archant

Retired GP Moss Taylor, a former EDP columnist, has been presented with a rare honour, recognising his 'significant voluntary contribution to Norfolk's wildlife and wild places.'

Moss Taylor in typical pose, pictured 11 years ago by an EDP photographer.

Moss Taylor in typical pose, pictured 11 years ago by an EDP photographer. - Credit: Archant © 2004

The Sydney Long Memorial Medal is awarded jointly by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) and the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society (NNNS) not more frequently than every two years, and Dr Taylor is only the 14th person to receive it.

An expert on birds, he has written or co-authored five books on the subject.

Two of them, The Birds of Norfolk, in 1999, and The Norfolk Bird Atlas, in 2011, have been described as 'seminal works in Norfolk ornithology,' by Tony Leech, who presented Dr Taylor with the medal at NWT's Cley Marshes reserve.

From 1999-2005 Dr Taylor also wrote 500 'In the Countryside' columns for the EDP.

Moss Taylor pictured on a birding tour in 1964. Picture: Supplied

Moss Taylor pictured on a birding tour in 1964. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

Dr Leech, NNNS chairman and an NWT trustee, said Dr Taylor had been a bird ringer since 1961, and for many years compiled the ringing reports for the Norfolk Bird and Mammal Report.

He added: 'On top of all this he has worked unstintingly to help others, especially young people, develop their bird-watching skills.'

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The medal is named after the man who, in 1926, arranged for 100 people to back the purchase and management of Cley Marshes, effectively founding the NWT, Britain's first county wildlife trust.

In his acceptance speech Dr Taylor, 72, who was a Sheringham GP for 22 years, said he felt highly honoured to receive an award whose first recipient had been legendary Norfolk wildlife expert Ted Ellis.

Born in Kent, Dr Taylor said he had been interested in birds from an early age and, while at boarding school in Essex, came across a copy of the Norfolk Bird Report for 1958.

It included details of a 'spectacular fall of drift migrants in early September at Cley and Blakeney Point.' That had made him decide to live in Norfolk one day, a dream realised in 1969.

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