It is with sadness that the Friends learned of the death in November of Marney Hall. Marney served as a member of the Friends of Holt Island Nature Reserve committee for six years, and her expertise and support will be greatly missed. She carried out botanical surveys of Holt Island, and also the Thicket, which greatly informed our understanding of the flora and ecology of these habitats. Whilst on the committee Marney organised a very popular and well attended guided walk around the Island and each year she would host the Anglia in Bloom judges when they came to visit the Island as part of Anglia in Bloom.
As well as Holt Island, Marney's expertise had a real impact on the local environment. As an ecologist with the Nature Conservancy Council she became an expert in butterflies, particularly those species that were struggling, while working at the Monks Wood ecological research centre. Her most noted achievement was on the re-introduction of the swallowtail butterfly to Wicken Fen.
Marney was also involved with St Ives in Bloom, serving on their committee for over ten years (serving as Chair for four years). She set up a specialist nursery growing and selling native wild plants, then developed her own garden design consultancy, with a reputation for designing gardens with a natural feel.
Marney could number a string of gold awards, including Chelsea, for the gardens she designed, both at home and internationally amongst her successes. Her gold medal at Chelsea was awarded for a garden which promoted biodiversity, providing habitat for visiting birds, butterflies and other wildlife.
Marney was devoted to the countryside, British wildlife, and the local environment and her passion, expertise and enthusiasm will be greatly missed.