Rick Charles 1954-2013

28th March 2014


Rick Charles, Cotswold Way Volunteer Warden, died 21stJuly 2013 aged 59. He was a trained Solicitor who loved flying, airplanes and the natural world. He subsequently joined the RAF, not as a pilot but as lawyer. He had a very successful career, rising to become Head of the RAF Legal Branch with the rank of Air Vice Marshal, and was honoured by the Queen as Companion of the Order of the Bath in 2005.

Rick had many passions: flying, bird watching, beekeeping, rugby (a Gloucester RFC season ticket holder), and walking. For many years he worked as a Cotswold Way Volunteer Warden, most recently looking after the section of the Cotswold Way overlooking Cheltenham, including the Prestbury Hill Butterfly Reserve. After his death friends wished to commemorate him, and permission was granted to erect a bench on the section of trail that he cared for, just inside the Butterfly Reserve.

The beautiful oak bench, a fitting memorial to a thoroughly decent bloke, was installed thanks to the sterling efforts of his colleagues in the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens and will provide rest to  walkers that pass by for many years to come. It has been expertly engraved with a Duke of Burgundy butterfly (to signify the bench’s location) and a buzzard (for Rick’s love of flight and nature), and also a tiny hidden bee.

All who have been brought closer to nature by the Cotswold Way, and all who love this very special part of it, owe Rick a huge debt of gratitude.

Thank-you Rick.


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