Obituary for Cynthia Wilson: 1933- 2022
It is with great sorrow that we have to write about the passing of our dear friend and former colleague, Cynthia Wilson, who passed away peacefully this week, with her close family at her bedside, following a fall a week ago, aged 89. Our thoughts go out to her family at this sad time, but they should be immensely proud of all she has achieved in her long and active life.

Cynthia, well known and well loved for all her great community work in Saltford, had also been a key member of the Keynsham group of the Avon Wildlife Trust. Sadly for us, Cynthia decided to retire from the committee in the autumn of 2020, after nearly 20 years of dedicated and loyal support.

Cynthia joined us in 2001, shortly after moving to Saltford from Chichester, with her husband Miles. Her astonishing energy, enthusiasm and wealth of new ideas were evident right from the start, and she galvanised us to new levels of working. 

Before long she became Minutes Secretary, Field Outings Secretary and Speakers Secretary, and put Publicity on the Agenda. She recruited some of the current committee members and arranged the initial writing of an article in Keynsham Voice (which continues to this day, now a regular feature in the Voice). She organised a River Walk Exhibition in St. John’s church, and organised far too many speakers, talks and walks to mention. She carried on undiminished, despite the loss of Miles some years ago.

Photo: Cynthia at the Local Groups meeting at Bennett's Patch and White's Paddock 2016

She listed as some of her highlights with our group: Sarah’s talk on Bees, and a visit to her bee rich garden in Yatton;  Jerry Dicker’s expert talks on trees and a visit to Tortworth Arboretum; Elm Farm AGM 2009, where the speaker had a tank of specimens of pond life; observing Woodchester roosting bats on TV monitors and visiting Salisbury plain to see Great Bustards. We could list many more!

Photo: With Jerry Dicker at Tortworth Arboretum 2015

Throughout her time on the committee, she remained cheerful, positive and supportive of, and very patient with, us less efficient mortals, and maintained that infectious enthusiasm throughout.

We felt that the Covid lockdown and the fact that we were using Zoom to conduct our monthly talks contributed to her decision to resign, as she felt unable to help. With hindsight, it was probably the right decision, because it would have greatly reduced the pressure and stress of being on the committee, for the last 2 years of her life.
Photo: The Space, Keynsham for Mark Carwardine's talk in 2019, Cynthia busy with raffle tickets
Browns Folly 2013
Stockwood Open Space 2016
Marshfield 2014
Ed Drewitt's Migration talk in 2014 when the Hawk and Owl Trust flew a kestrel around the hall
Greylake 2013
It looks like Andrew is bowing to Cynthia!
Manor Road Community Woods 2016
For most of our committee (although some of us have seen her since), our abiding and perhaps final memory of Cynthia will be our celebratory brunch at Newton Farm cafe, celebrating her 88th birthday in February 2021, where we were able to relax and reminisce with her, free for once from the business of running the wildlife group.

Thank you so much, Cynthia, for everything you did to promote our knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of wildlife locally, nationally and worldwide. We will be eternally grateful for your outstanding contributions, and will greatly miss not sharing with you our passion for all things wildlife.
Dave Sage
On behalf of Keynsham Group, Avon Wildlife Trust
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Keynsham Group
Avon Wildlife Trust
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