A fond farewell and a lasting legacy

26th October 2023

It is with great sadness that we recently learned of the death of Major Iain Grahame, Founder of the Daws Hall Trust.

The Trust manages the Daws Hall Nature Reserve, a 25-acre site, together with a field study centre established by Major Grahame in 1985 and supported by local people with a common interest in the environment.

Located in the village of Lamarsh, the Reserve offers environmental education to school children from Essex and Suffolk and is open to the public on selected days in the Summer.   Conservation on the land and waters around Daws Hall in the Stour Valley is also undertaken and the site welcomes some 3,000 visitors each year.

Daws Hall was Major Grahame’s passion and over the years, its conservation and educational work has received support from some of the funds we manage.

Our most recent grants were:

  • £1,325 from the Stour Valley Environment Fund to launch a series of projects for young people, aged under 18, looking to start careers in conservation.
  • £2,500 jointly given from the Stour Valley Environment Fund and the Essex Fund. This helped to buy materials to renew the existing wooden access platforms to the River Stour, as they had deteriorated.

Will Dover, General Manager at Daws Hall said, “Visiting school groups, colleges, conservation volunteers and the local fishing group all need access to the river and the existing wooden platforms were beyond repair.

“For greater sustainability and structural strength, we replaced the wooden components with recycled plastic beams which are more environmentally friendly and will not be as susceptible to damage or weathering.”

Jo Macaulay, Head of Communications at ECF said, “Major Grahame was always looking for the next project that would enhance the nature reserve and make it more accessible, so that everyone could benefit from what it had to offer.

“Education was so important to him and seeing children visit the site and get involved in learning about conversation and nature, pond dipping or helping with general maintenance and repairs, gave him the greatest joy and was what motivated him.

“Major Grahame was an inspirational man.  He will be missed by all who knew him, but his legacy is an amazing natural space which will continue to grow and flourish, bringing joy and happiness to people of all ages in the future.”

You can read the Major Grahame’s tribute here https://www.dawshallnature.co.uk/iain-grahame