Many people will have been saddened to hear of the untimely death in March of former Trustee, Nikki Anderson, at the comparatively early age of 69. She was a dedicated and enthusiastic worker for wildlife and conservation and had supported the Wildlife Trust under its various names for over 30 years.
Living in Pembrokeshire, she joined West Wales Wildlife Trust in 1984 and very soon involved herself in activities, running a Watch Group from 1986 – 1998, and doing practical conservation on the local Reserves. When the Brown Hairstreak Butterfly was discovered on West Williamston Reserve in the late 1980s, she took part in the annual egg count every year, becoming an honorary warden during the 1990s.
She became a Trustee of the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales in 2002 until 2012 and was a supportive colleague when I joined the Board of Trustees in 2004 as a new and very inexperienced Trustee myself. She believed passionately in the Local Groups Forum which got off to a shaky start in 2002/3, but it was not until Nikki took over as Chair in 2007 and persuaded the Groups to work more closely with the Trust and overcome any past resentment, that things really improved. With her tact, determination and persistence, the Forum has matured into the useful interface between Members, Staff and Trustees that it is today. She was justly proud of that achievement, though she never blew her own trumpet and usually gave others credit.
She was generous with her time and served on many other Committees including the Bird Group, the Health & Safety Committee and, of course, the South Pembrokeshire Local Group, of which she was one of the stalwarts from early on who kept it going through difficult times. She worked tirelessly for the local community and was always looking for opportunities where different groups could co-operate for their mutual benefit, particularly if it also benefitted wildlife. She found it difficult to say “No” to any organisation requesting her help and was loyal in her support right up until the end of her life.
In addition to all of this, she brought up two sons and held down a demanding job. She was kind, gentle, thoughtful, encouraging, and I never saw her appear impatient or lose her temper. She touched many people’s lives and will be very much missed by all who knew her.
S. Pembs Local Group