Friday, 21 May 2010

The scribblings of a much-loved naturalist


THE well-thumbed library of the naturalist Ted Ellis will go under the hammer next week. Many of the 2000 books come complete with his own scribblings. But as a well-written article in the EDP makes clear, this is only likely to add to their attraction at the auction in Aylsham on May 27th. I‘d love to make it along, as much for the people-watching as anything else. The county’s finest nature lovers will surely be out on patrol. Ted Ellis lived at Wheatfen Broad (pictured) – an isolated habitat which became a nature reserve under his careful stewardship. It lies between Surlingham and Rockland, off every beaten track bar one – the Wherryman’s Way. As the article makes clear – he was a protege of Arthur Patterson – the Great Yarmouth naturalist.  My favourite book of his is Wildfowlers and Poachers. Apparently there’s a copy of that book in the collection signed: “To Edward Ellis, deputy author who helped me in shaping sentences”. Beautifully put, don’t you think?

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