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Derek's Meadow

by Michael Ford last modified 23 Oct, 2020 05:09 PM

Almost 4 years have passed since a much-loved character and life-long resident of Studland died unexpectedly, but his legacy lives on.

Retired priest Anthony Higgins says:

"At his funeral, attended by more people than I have ever seen attending a funeral at St Nicholas' Church, the meadow east of the churchyard and adjacent to Derek Loveless’ grave was referred to as Derek’s Meadow.

"Derek could often be seen on his beloved Ferguson tractor cutting large areas of grass around the village. No one paid him to do this, he just liked to “do his bit” to keep the village he loved looking at its best.

"Some remarked at his funeral that Derek had a piece of string tied to his waist at one end and Studland at the other.

"Amongst the areas that Derek would mow was the large area of meadowland which is part of the churchyard. Part of this ground was to be preserved as a meadow in perpetuity.

"It is a fitting tribute to Derek that, led by his example of caring, his friends have continued to do as Derek did. Nothing is said but I walk down to the churchyard to discover the meadow is cut and looking well kept, this is Derek’s legacy, and my thanks as ever goes to those who, like Derek, quietly get on with it!

"It has been our plan at St Nicholas' to restore part of the meadow which had become a little neglected, as a wildflower meadow. This would be a lasting tribute to all those who over the years have given their time and effort to maintain the place they have loved living in. Thanks to Steve Smith, Owen Smith and Rhys the process of creating the meadow has begun.

"On 18th October, part of the field was ploughed in readiness to sow a perennial meadow seed mix next Spring. I even got to do some of the ploughing, 54 years since the last time I had sat on a tractor and ploughed. Thank you, to the whole Smith family, for allowing this to happen. Future generations can continue to spend time peacefully in this part of Dorset, being healed by its beauty."

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