We are very sad to announce the passing of Gaby Grace – our longest-serving trustee and a very special friend and supporter of Denmark Farm.
Having been a trustee since September 1997 – nearly 19 years – Gaby had a unique perspective and understanding of Denmark Farm – both the site itself and the history of the Shared Earth Trust. Her knowledge was often invaluable when making decisions about the direction that the charity should take and her careful and considered answers will be deeply missed.
Although she lived in Somerset, Gaby managed to attend almost all trustee meetings; in recent times staying in the eco-lodge and often arriving at the meetings with reports of the birds that she had observed as she wandered the site. Mara recalls that “Gaby particularly loved the Pied and Spotted flycatchers which return to Denmark Farm during late spring and summer… whenever she came to a meeting during May or June she would make a beeline for the areas of the site where they were known to be and come back greatly excited to share the news of her sightings or sounds of calls.”
We knew Gaby through her deep love of the natural world and her commitment to conserving natural habitats and making them accessible to the public, but away from Denmark Farm she had a busy life. Although she originally trained as a primary school teacher, she spent 40 years working with charities and the church, much of this overseas (in Latin America and elsewhere). Her Christian faith was central to her life and she had a strong sense of social justice. Indeed, in her younger days she had been a peace campaigner and spent time at Greenham Common. For the past five years she volunteered with the Somerset organisation Promise, mentoring a young boy from a disadvantaged background She had a great zest for life – singing and dancing, travelling and exploring and generally sharing her joy.
Gaby had brain surgery to remove a tumour in the summer of 2015, but then received a terminal diagnosis. She was very active in the last few months of her life, doing a number of things on her ‘bucket list’, including spending Christmas with her younger brother and family in Spain. She died peacefully on Thursday 4 February 2016.
We are making a collection for a memorial to Gaby at Denmark Farm. If you would like to contribute please make a donation via our donations page, send a cheque payable to ‘Shared Earth Trust’ addressed to Gaby Memorial Fund, Denmark Farm Conservation Centre, Betws Bledrws, Lampeter, SA48 8PB or get in touch if you’d like to make a BACS payment and we will let you have our bank details. Many thanks for your support.