Our long time Estate Manager, Phil Pennington, a true local personality, who retired in 2015, sadly passed away recently after a short illness.
Phil’s expertise with sheep and cattle helped us introduce a breeding and grazing policy which has led to the gradual development of a wonderful range of local wildlife habitats. He was a key mover in a national project to bring back the Norfolk Horn sheep from virtual extinction and, in addition to the Trust’s own large flock, the breed is now surviving across the country.
Phil was really popular with young and old and brought his teaching experience as a former Head of Rural Studies to the Trust when he started here in 1993. He helped us to start what is now a flourishing Environmental Education Service. Many teenagers benefitted from his enthusiasm as a leader of our Junior Wildlife Explorers, where he was able to involve them in many aspects of protecting local habitats and livestock management. He also did so much to help the annual Conker Festival become a regular success and was a key part of the Trust’s progress for over 20 years. Local environmentalists and Borough Councillors will remember Phil for his many years as Chair of the local Environmental Forum.
Despite retiring to start his own local smallholding, Phil was often back to attend our functions. It is extremely sad that he did not have longer to enjoy the benefits of that smallholding. All at the Trust and many local people will miss Phil and we send our best wishes to his family at this difficult time.