|Graham Atkins at Book Signing|
Many of my "Rural Relaxation" walks are around College Lake, a nature reserve only a few miles from where I live. It was created out of a huge chalk pit, associated with the Pitstone Cement Works, because Graham Aktins, a lorry driver who worked for the company, persuaded the management that when the quarrying finished the site could become a wonderful home for wild life. The Site is now managed by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), Graham having retired a few years ago.
|Graham on College Lake Buggy|
Recently a small sign has appeared at College Lake, under a picture of Graham, reporting he died at the end of June. This picture was taken the last time I saw him, in September last year when he was at College Lake when the Castle Hide was rededicated to George Goddard (the former quarry manager who supported Graham's work). In addition Graham signed copies of his wonderful book Creating a Nature Reserve. He was not well at the time and used one of the electric buggies to go to Castle Hide - and we must all be pleased that he was able to leave a written record of how College Lake came about, so that visitors can understand his foresight and achievement. It also provides important guidelines for anyone else planning to establish a nature reserve ona brown field site.