Thomas’s Lasting Legacy
Every green space Earth Trust protects is nurtured for the benefit of people and wildlife. Earth Trust is honoured to be able to begin work on a new green space on the banks of the Thames which has particular significance: Thomas’s Meadow, named in memory of Thomas Quick.
Thomas grew up in nearby Burcot, not far from the Wittenham Clumps and Earth Trust. He was always happiest outside and he believed in cherishing our natural landscapes, both for ecological reasons and as places to enjoy. Educated locally, he went on to read Anthropology at UCL followed by a Masters in Environmental Technology at Imperial College where his interest and enthusiasm for both subjects was rewarded by taking the top prizes in both courses.
Thomas’s working life was characterised by a desire to bring positive change. As one of the Department of International Development’s youngest government advisors on climate change and the environment, Thomas worked in southern Africa on projects aiming to minimise water conflict across national boundaries. Sir Mark Lowcock, the Permanent Secretary at DFID, wrote that Thomas had been destined for a “glitteringly successful and impactful career”. After devastating and entirely unexpected news that he had a rare and incurable cancer, he returned to the UK where he died in January 2017, aged 29.
In his working life Thomas was able to effect real environmental change. In the last weeks of his illness, Thomas spoke of wanting to effect change locally with the creation of a green space, managed sustainably for the benefit of people and wildlife. They immediately thought of working with Earth Trust to realise their vision for Thomas’s Meadow, which will ensure that out of such great sadness will come something of immense purpose and importance.
Over the coming weeks, months and years, Earth Trust will regenerate Thomas’s Meadow from its current state to an accessible riverside haven for wildlife and people. Using the site as a demonstration of the sustainable land management techniques that Earth Trust has pioneered and promoted, Thomas’s Meadow will be an exemplar of how land can be managed not only as a publically accessible greenspace, but also as a flood plain meadow: a much needed yet increasingly rare environment. It will provide productive grazing pasture for our Farm Step tenants, as well as a perfect habitat for invertebrates and both ground nesting and wading birds. Importantly, Thomas’s Meadow will provide much needed flood alleviation when the river is high, helping to protect Wallingford and other places downstream.
Please come and enjoy a visit to Thomas’s Meadow which is located along the Thames footpath, between Clifton Hampden and Dorchester, OS grid reference SU 56088 95718.
We are extremely grateful to Robin Buxton, who enabled the acquisition of the meadows, and to the Quick family, Sarah Bonham, and all those who have donated to Thomas’s Woodland Fund for their generosity to Earth Trust, providing vital support for our work protecting accessible natural green spaces