In memory of Rich Hearn (1971-2024)

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With sorrow we learnt of the recent passing of Rich Hearn. Rich worked for much of his career at the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust (WWT) based at Slimbridge, the birthplace of WWT and Wetlands International and the cradle of many great ornithological careers.

Although Rich worked in many areas, we knew him best as the chair of the Duck Specialist Group and for his policy work. He was a valued member of the African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership, the AEWA Technical Committee and a member representative to Wetlands International Europe. Rich had a talent for asking astute questions, keeping meandering discussions on track and putting his finger on the most important issues.

Although he would no doubt have preferred to be out in the field, his contributions at the meeting table (and the bar) made a real and hugely positive difference to waterbird conservation across the flyway and indeed further afield. His insightfulness and good humour will be sorely missed and his wisdom irreplaceable.

Much, much more on the vast range of Rich’s career and his many achievements can be found on the WWT and AEWA website. His family has also  established a memorial fund to donate to the conservation of Slaty Egret and you can contribute by clicking here.