© FoG 2014
Those who went on walks and talks over the years at Gillespie Park had the great pleasure of being guided by Richard Meyers, a dedicated Nature Conservation Ranger for Islington Council for nearly 17 years who died unexpectedly in October 2014. Richard was a self-taught naturalist who took a keen personal interest in Gillespie Park and the Parkland Walk - he drew attention to the importance of the acid grassland there and played a key part in the development of the tree walk.
With the Friends of Gillespie Park, he helped to organize the Gillespie Park Festival, and gave talks to school groups visiting the Ecology Centre, as well as energetically leading evening bat and dawn chorus walks. He engaged audiences in a range of topics - how the flora and fauna found within Gillespie Park interact with their respective habitats and the diversity of the creatures inhabiting our ponds, meadows and woodlands. With a unique perspective on nature and fascinated by the folklore associated with birds, trees and wild flowers, Richard could explain how many plants got their common names and have been used over time for medicinal and culinary purposes. Richard Meyer's death was a great loss and sadness to all who knew him and the Ecology Centre has a collection box in the office for a memorial that will reflect his love for conservation in the area.