The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales was very sad to learn recently of the loss of one of our long-standing members and volunteers in north Ceredigion, Roy Bamford, who has died after a short battle with pancreatic cancer, aged 68. He will be missed by many.
Richard Spencer of the north Ceredigion group has been kind enough to share his memories of Roy with us.
I first met Roy soon after moving to Wales almost forty years ago. It was in the kitchen at Caer Bellan, Ynyshir, where I had gone to see the then warden, Dick Squires. Initially appearing quiet and reserved I was to meet him several times more before our first conversation. Roy was not a man to waste words. I soon learnt that initial impressions should not be relied upon as he had the ability to get on with everyone.
Some years later I was to get to know Roy much more when he came to work at Plas Einion in Furnace. We had many adventures particularly when taking groups on expeditions to North Wales and Scotland. With the ability to identify what needed to be done in a tricky situation his judgements were a model of common sense. We all felt safe in his company. A particularly enjoyable trip to Aviemore saw us both lying helpless with laughter in the snow, unable to remain upright on our skis.
In those early days I was privileged to be invited to join Roy and Bill Condry on botanising expeditions, searching for rarities such as Killarney Fern and Oblong Woodsia on Moel Hebog. It was on one of these outings to Cader Idris that I first came to appreciate Roy's knowledge of the natural world. High overhead, silhouetted against the sky, two small birds flew past. Roy looked to Bill and said "Twite": Bill concurred. I marvelled!
An acknowledged expert on wildlife Roy was a valued member of the West Wales Naturalist's Trust conservation committee for many years, completing surveys and negotiating leases with landowners. He took over from Bill as honorary warden Cwm Clettwr reserve. He led walks and gave presentations on his researches such as the conservation of Lapwings and Curlews.
Always willing to share his expertise Roy often invited friends and colleagues to accompany him on walks and field work. Sightings of Dotterel on Plynlimon, or Water Voles and Adders on Tregaron bog will remain with me always. Three hundred articles in the Cambrian News are testament to his concerns for our natural world.
I shall remember Roy as an independent family man with a strong sense of social responsibility. A man in the countryside with a wide range of skills, always willing to help others, asking nothing in return. A man I truly respected. I deem it a privilege to have known him.
Richard Spencer 02.03.2017