Robin Page (1943 - 2023)
A true ‘Man of the Countryside’. The farmer, broadcaster, journalist, author, political activist and cricket lover, Robin Page, passed peacefully away at his family farm in Cambridgeshire on Saturday 27th of May after a prolonged battle with cancer. Robin dedicated a lifetime to promoting, nurturing and advocating the respectful farming of the British countryside, working with nature to maintain a desired balance of production within the natural environment.
Robin’s prodigious passion for the countryside, as an original ‘Eco Warrior’, quite often got him into hot water. He wasn’t a man to suffer fools and always spoke his mind which is why I liked him so much. He loved Scilly and visited regularly with his wife Lulu (Anita) and sister Rachael, staying on St Mary’s and Tresco where he was very proud to have introduced red squirrels to the island. They are now a valued addition for visitors who delight in viewing and photographing this rare British mammal in a natural environment.
Robin was an avid ornithologist. In Spring he would call me and ask if I had heard the Cuckoo on the islands yet and then would call other island friends, Mike Nellams, Fran Hicks or Richard McCarthy with the same question. When he arrived he would meet up with Fran to get the lowdown on the birds that had visited or were visiting and catch up with Jaclyn Pearson to find out what was happening with the RSPB and the Wildlife Trust.
Our Christmas Dinner, in May or June at the Turk’s Head, was an annual event that started with a boat trip from St Mary’s to St Agnes with Tim Fortey in Calypso 2 and was always enjoyed by all who took part which usually included everyone in the pub that evening. Robin and I miss the demise of Lovage which added so much to the enjoyment of a large brandy.
Robin was a co founder and Executive Chairman of The Countryside Restoration Trust which he formed with the late Gordon Beningfield, wildlife and countryside artist, in 1993. The CRT was at the centre of Robin’s life until he was reduced to a trustee by the current board in 2021.
This action hit him really hard but in adversity he still maintained the ethos of the trust in his daily life.
Robin’s last visit to the islands was in May 2022 and although his mobility was somewhat compromised he managed to get about, with Lulu’s assistance, and visit all the old haunts that he knew and loved. The red squirrels will live on in Scilly as a lasting legacy and memorial to Robin and his work with wildlife.
He will be fondly and lovingly remembered by all his friends on the islands and our condolences go out from Scilly to Lulu, Rachael and the family.