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Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Friday, 22 May 2009 18:35 UK
Naturalist Ted Ellis remembered

The work of naturalist Ted Ellis is remembered

Ted Ellis, one of Norfolk's best known naturalists and broadcasters, is remembered by family, friends and nature lovers on his centenary.

He lived at Wheatfen Broad in Surlingham for 40 years and was active in many nature organisations.

His scientific work included the discovery of many British micro-fungi and he could explain the inter-dependency of life forms on the Broads.

"He was totally focussed on his love of natural history," said son, John Ellis.

Ted Ellis was fascinated from early childhood by what he described as the "rich adventures" of discovering the natural world and, for many, he was seen as the grandfather of naturalism in Norfolk.

Born in 1909, Ted and his wife Phyllis moved to Wheatfen after WWII, where they settled with their family living in a cottage surrounded by 130 acres of woodland and fen.

Ted wrote prolifically for the Eastern Daily Press.

In the 1960s he found a new audience, becoming a popular radio and television broadcaster local and on the national stage answering questions for Nature Postbag on BBC Radio Four.

Wheatfen Broad

But the great passion of his life was Wheatfen Broad. It contains 100 acres of reed beds, tidal channels with a unique diversity of flora and fauna, four miles of pathways and the small broads of Wheatfen and Deepwaters.

Long before environmental issues were popular, Ted vividly described the world of Norfolk's fens and waterways, explaining the complex ways in which one life form depends on another and emphasising the need to protect the area's richness.

Since his death in 1986, Wheatfen Broad has been turned into a permanent nature reserve.

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