Renton Righelato 1943-2022

It is with great sadness that we have to report that Renton has lost his fight with cancer, dying surrounded by his family on 8 November 2022.

Berkshire’s wildlife has lost one of its most effective champions, and many of us have also lost a valued friend and colleague. We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for his work for many years as chair of the Berkshire Ornithological Club’s conservation sub-committee, his contribution to promoting the Lea Farm reserve in the Loddon valley, his attempts to move the long-stalled Padworth Lane restoration project forward, his hours spent on local bird surveys, his enormous contribution to the Berkshire Bird Atlas Group and the publication of “The Birds of Berkshire“, and to the club’s activities as Hon Secretary, Chair and latterly President. Renton’s memorable review of the changes to Berkshire’s bird fauna over the last 75 years given at the club’s anniversary meeting has recently been published as the “Berkshire’s Birdscapes” booklet, a document that is expected to be influential in guiding local environmental planning decisions.

Renton was a bio-chemist by training and was a visiting professor at the Universities of Reading and Kent. He was passionate about wildlife. A charity close to his heart was the World Land Trust, a remarkable organisation that with modest resources has helped save, safeguard and restore tracts of some of the world’s most threatened habitats, particularly in South America. He served as a trustee of the World Land Trust for twelve years, latterly as Chair.

The funeral will be for family and close friends. A memorial occasion will be arranged for a later date when it is hoped that some members of the club will attend.