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Aitken Clark, Conservationist

albion_norfolk_broads.jpg

His spirit sails with wherry yachts on the Broads.

Aitken Clark saved the Broads - 'a wetland area containing five rivers and 40 broads (flooded medieval peat diggings)' from gross pollution. Effluents and the churnings of cabin cruisers were eroding banks and devastating aquatic plants and wildlife.

The challenge was to work with a host of local authorities and reverse the damage. Clark 'was the ideal candidate to reconcile these various interests. Through charm, diplomacy and a belief in using carrot rather than stick, he set about building a consensus – and delivered lasting results'.

The Telegraph tribute describes the incentives used and Clark's championing of the traditional Broads wherry, which plies the waters gently.

Born at Airdrie, Clark left school early to make a living. Discovering what he wanted to do, he returned to school, studying at night and eventually graduating in Architecture and Regional Planning at the London School of Economics. He worked in Italy and the US before joining a UK planning authority and dedicating himself to saving the Broads.

There are people who see an injured person and desperately want to heal the man, woman or child. Others see an injured land, and do everything in their power to restore and protect her. Clark was one of those.

Ave atque Vale.

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