A well-respected and much-missed bird watcher has been remembered with a new hide named after him at a popular viewing site.
Ted Parker, former chairman of Teesmouth Bird Club, died in 2013, aged 62. Having joined the club as a teenager, Mr Parker, from Nunthorpe, was very active within the organisation and oversaw its growth to more than 500 members during his chairmanship between 2004 and 2009.
When Northumbrian Water announced it was to build a new bird hide at its Scaling Dam Reservoir, between Guisborough and Whitby, it was agreed it should be called the Ted Parker Hide as a fitting tribute.
Stuart Pudney, Northumbrian Water’s Conservation and Land Manager, said: “The old hide was getting quite worn and it was in our plans to replace it with a new facility, a few metres away from where the old one was positioned, giving a better view of the nature reserve.”
A chartered landscape architect, Mr Parker led the way for local bird watchers to be consulted on relevant planning issues in the area.
He added: “As well as being chairman of the bird club, Ted was an important member of the Scaling Dam Wildlife Advisory Committee, so it is only right that the new hide should have a plaque dedicated to his memory and in recognition of all the work he did there.”
The hide was officially opened by Mr Parker’s widow, Ruth, at a ceremony attended by family, friends, volunteers and members of the Northumbrian Water team.
Mrs Parker said: "Bird watching was Ted′s passion from being a young boy right up until he died, he was immersed in it all his life. It wasn′t only the bird watching, he took the interest further, with his work with the Scaling Dam Wildlife Advisory Committee and other environmental and conservation activity.
“Ted would be very humbled and honoured to think the hide was being dedicated to him. He often supported people who made an impact on the bird club and the local area, so to see it happen in his memory is very special.”
Chris Sharp, secretary of Teesmouth Bird Club, said: “Ted was a part of Teesmouth Bird Club for around 50 years and was one of our most active members, serving on various committees and as chairman. The dedication of the new hide in Ted′s memory is something that we are very appreciative of and we think he would have approved of what Northumbrian Water has provided to our members and fellow bird lovers.”
For media information please contact Paul White on 0191 3015325.