Mark Sensible obituary


You probably have ever been to a big RSPB wetland reserve wherever within the UK, and loved the evocative calls of breeding redshank, snipe, curlew or lapwings, it is extremely possible that my pal Mark Sensible, who has died immediately aged 56, was concerned in a roundabout way in instantly creating that habitat. His work was formally recognised in 2018 when he was given the nationwide Marsh Award for Wetland Conservation Achievement.

I first met Mark once we had been youngsters volunteering with the Wash Wader Ringing Group (WWRG) within the saltmarshes of East Anglia. I used to be with my bird-obsessed mother and father, and he had tagged alongside along with his older sister, Allison. This introduction to sensible chook conservation sparked a ardour for wetlands and wading birds that may lead him right into a distinguished profession over 30 years with the RSPB.

Mark was born in Stamford, Lincolnshire, to Cyril Sensible, a farm employee and herdsman, and his spouse, Irena. He drove his first tractor on the age of 12 and was extra sensible than educational. After leaving Arthur Mellows Village faculty in Glinton, Cambridgeshire at 16, he went into farming, engaged on the Barnwell Property in Northamptonshire, the place he grew to become expert with tractors and enormous equipment, and certified as an agricultural mechanic.

His involvement with WWRG continued and developed right into a lifelong love of the Wash. He progressed from his first British Belief for Ornithology ringing allow in his teenagers, permitting him to catch and mark birds for monitoring and analysis, to holding a cannon-net licence (a really specialised bird-capture methodology) and changing into a trustee of WWRG.

After being made redundant from the Barnwell Property within the early Nineteen Nineties, he noticed a chance to comply with his ardour and utilized for a job with the RSPB. The organisation shortly recognised Mark’s distinctive set of abilities, along with his understanding of the ecology of waders and his sensible capacity with giant diggers. He all the time knew the best machine for the job, remodeling giant swathes of fields or meadows again into moist grazing marshes with loads of scrapes, ponds, channels and dust for waders, geese and geese to feed, relaxation and breed.

Mark additionally had a present for partaking with folks. He was in a position to bridge any divide between landowners, gamekeepers and conservationists, teams whose conflicting pursuits typically put them at odds with one another. As a mentor, pal and coach, he nurtured different conservationists with persistence and encouragement.

In 1997 he met Jen Keddie, an ornithologist, and so they married in 1999. Along with Jen, he fitted in a decent newbie biking profession along with his Norwich membership, in addition to a number of wader expeditions to Mauritania, Australia and Delaware Bay within the US. In 2021 the couple purchased and renovated a farmhouse in Fife and loved caring for their spaniels.

He and Jen separated in 2022 and Mark began a relationship with Katherine Puttick.

Mark is survived by Jen, by Katherine and her son, Ewan, and by Allison.


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