A commemorative seat marking the man who did more than any to create Lynn’s Harding’s Pits nature reserve was unveiled on Wednesday.
The seat in the middle of the reserve facing the sculpture of the whale, is dedicated to Lynn man Roger Turff, who died earlier this year aged 77.
More than £600 had been raised to purchase and install the seat for Mr Turff, who led the campaign to save the five acres of green space from supermarket development.
He was one of the founder members of the Harding’s Pits Community Association, (HPCA), set up to establish the green under a national scheme and to undertake its management. He remained involved until his death.
Dr Paul Richards officially cut the ribbon on the new seat at a ceremony watched by donors and community association workers and supporters.
He paid warm tribute to Mr Turff saying he was a man who had belief and knowledge and would always encourage people to do the right things by his own actions.
He said: “Roger was an independent minded and strong character who believed popular action could stop bad things and make good things happen. The Powers-That-Be did not always know best!
“His vision for Harding’s Pits went beyond yet another supermarket to creating a green urban space for the benefit of the community.
“Though a proud Bedfordshire lad, Roger had become an honorary Lynn boy.
“He possessed leadership qualities too, particularly appreciating how to get the most from his supporters, to ensure our expanding town retains common land at its heart, for recreation, wildlife and enjoyment. At five acres Harding’s Pits is one of the largest doorstep greens in the kingdom.
Jane Dearling, HPCA chairwoman, said:“Roger was ‘Mr Harding’s Pits’ though he would have been the first to disagree that he was anything other than one of many people who saved the green and then went on to set it up and manage it.
“But I can safely say that it wouldn’t have happened without him.”
Mr Turff’s widow Sally said he particularly loved the spot where the seat was situated.
It was made from recycled carrier bags and was of a design proved to be exceptionally hardy.
“He headed the group who grappled with all the bureaucracy of applying for the grants to turn this green space into the wildlife haven and recreational delight it is today.
“He handled the paperwork, dealt with civil servants, planners, landscapers and groundwork operators. He endured long meetings – which he loathed - and when all that was done was the first to join the volunteers who keep the surging vegetation under control, the litter cleared and maintain it as an important habitat and refuge for wildlife.