Melvyne Graham Thomas Crowbwt melvyne crow submitted.jpg-pwrt3[1]

Melvyne was brought up in Bocking and apart from a short spell while he studied forestry in Penrith, this is where he lived and worked for much of his life.

Initially based at Essex County Council he came to work for Braintree District Council in 1974 until his retirement as Countryside Manager in 2010. During this time he also gained his Diploma in Countryside Management.

Aside from his work, Melvyne always had a strong interest in sport. He played cricket for Braintree and would regularly go to watch Essex and England play with friends and family. Having played Rugby in his younger years, Melvyne continued with his love of the sport coaching the Witham Colts.

His community spirit and desire to help people was apparent in his personal life as well, as Melvyne dedicated a many years to the St John Ambulance starting off as a cadet, he later became super-intendant for both the cadet and adult divisions. He enjoyed attending all the various local events but especially loved the camaraderie of annual occasions such as Braintree carnival and the Essex Show.

He also sat as a local magistrate for 20 years, something that he was always very proud of and proof of his standing in the community. Through all of his endeavours, he made many acquaintances and friends, many of which lasted a lifetime.

Community was always important to Melvyne and was reflected in many of the projects that he wascq involved in over the years with through work. Often involving collaboration with many different people and organisations to see them through to fruition. These included the towns project which looked to improving town centres through additional street furniture and tree planting; working with the John Ray Trust and many other organisations on the John Ray Walk and garden and the Witham Community Woodland project, to mention just a couple.

As part of his role at BDC, Melvyne provided knowledge and expertise to local landowners, helping them to apply for and receive funding through conservation grant schemes, often giving up his own free time to assist them in woodland and conservation management.

Later he would go on to assist with a number of projects that looked at Countryside management on a wider scale including the Deadham Vale and Stour Valley Projects and the River Colne Countryside project, both of which look to conserving and celebrating these important landscapes.

In retirement, Melvyne continued to dedicate his time to trees, acting as a consultant for Essex Church’s advising on churchyard trees and sharing his knowledge and experiences giving talks to local groups

Through all that he did his love and appreciation of trees always shone through. This was paramount when Dutch Elm disease hit Britain for a second time in the 1970’s, leading to him working on a project with Paul King to find and take

cuttings from resistant elm trees in a bid to save them from disappearing from the Essex Countryside.

Melvyne was always devoted to the Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens and again would give his time and expertise when it came to the trees. He especially enjoyed the heritage of the gardens, the old and unusual trees and always believed in the original philosophy of it being a place for people to enjoy the trees and plants