News story

Memorial tree honours former Dstl conservationist

A memorial tree has been planted in honour of a former employee for his conservation support at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Frank Blewett with his OBE in 1998
Frank Blewett with his OBE in 1998

Frank Blewett worked at the site for more than 40 years. In 1998, he received an OBE for his conservation work, which included his involvement in restoring historic abandoned dew ponds across the Porton Down Range.

Frank Blewett's widow Sue with FMS Rural Estate Manager Terry Jeanes
Frank Blewett's widow Sue with FMS Rural Estate Manager Terry Jeanes

After Frank sadly died in 2017, his family suggested the idea of planting a new tree in his memory.

Friends, former colleagues and family members attended a special ceremony, where a young 18-foot hornbeam tree was planted in Crossley Copse, a site that Frank and some of his colleagues originally established.

Frank’s wife Sue said:

We are thrilled that Dstl has allowed us to plant this tree in Frank’s memory. It’s a huge honour and I know Frank would have been equally thrilled to know a tree has been planted on a part of the site that he developed. He was a wonderful man, with a great sense of humour; a true gentleman in every way, and he was dearly loved by everyone here today.

FMS Rural Estate Manager Terry Jeanes is among the current custodians for conservation at Porton Down. She said:

Frank’s legacy lives on, with this Copse creating a biodiversity zone for the benefit of wildlife as well as providing a screen for nesting stone curlews. Rare wildlife species continue to thrive on site and we are privileged to be able to provide a number of enhancements to support them.

Published 17 April 2018