Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Monday, 12 April 2010 12:28 UK

First Broads Authority chief Aitken Clark dies aged 74

Professor Aitken Clark
Professor Clark was instrumental in saving the Halvergate marshes

The man who was the first head of the Broads Authority and who was credited with restoring water quality and wildlife habitats has died aged 74.

Professor Aitken Clark, OBE, became the first chief executive of the Broads Authority from 1979 until 2001.

When he took over, the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads were suffering serious environmental degradation.

Under Professor Clark's leadership, the Broads also became more accessible to the public.

One of his achievements was to help save the Halvergate marshes from being ploughed up by negotiating incentives for farmers.

Solar-powered boat

During his tenure, the £3m restoration of Barton Broad took place, making it a home for rare water plants, otters and other wildlife.

It is one of the most popular sailing areas in the Broads.

The country's first passenger solar powered boat was commissioned by Professor Clark to give educational trips on Barton Broad and showcase environmentally-friendly technology.

A former chairwoman of the Broads Authority, Lady Knollys, said: "Aitken Clark was an outstanding chief executive and a true statesman.

"He leaves the Broads a great legacy and will be greatly missed."

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