Dick Potts obituary

Ecologist and conservationist who helped save the threatened grey partridge

Dick Potts, who has died aged 77, did more to bridge the gap between conservationists, farmers and the game shooting fraternity than any other figure. He combined his training as a scientist, his background as a farmer’s son and his passion for birds to help save the threatened grey partridge.

From small beginnings in a Portakabin on a farm in West Sussex in 1968, Dick developed a long-term study into the ecology of the partridge, one of Britain’s most distinctive farmland birds. Even then, numbers of this attractive gamebird were beginning to fall and Dick was charged with finding out why.

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