Nicky-0409_colossusSizing up the territory from Beacon Hill
Photo Catriona Bass


The Nature Recovery Network would not be the success it is without our brilliant, bold and charismatic mentor, Nicky Chambers, who died on 19th February at the age of 57.

Nicky encouraged celebrations at each tiny step forward; she carried our spirits over every setback…  

Her huge experience in navigating the complex, competitive corporate and NGO environmental world is what has helped us succeed in positioning our bottom-up, community-led nature recovery network within it. Her clarity and insistence that what we are all doing is innovative and good is what has kept us going – it inspired and enabled us to achieve so much on the ground in so short a time.


Nicky_SheepLeading the sheep: shepherdesses - and Ruby.
Photo Kevan Martin


It is a testament to Nicky, that one of Natural England’s board members said this week ‘I wish we had a community-driven nature recovery project like this in our region.’

Nicky was our NRN Treasurer, but it was her smiling energy that we treasure most – and her witty aphorisms for every sling, arrow, and beautiful sparrow.

Give LOAF (Less of a F***), when the Parish Council lost us a major grant. No one will forget the fury of her solo leaping on the lockdown Zoom when the Parish Council failed to agree.

This is the job, not the obstacle to the job at every new setback or person who didn’t get what we are trying to do.

How Happy are We! On so, so many occasions – on seeing a kingfisher gliding down the Limb Brook, on looking at otters on the camera trap, on sharing a glass of wine after collecting wildflower seeds on Long Mead in the mid-summer sunshine.



Nicky-9248_otter_poohA fine vintage otter spraint.
Photo Catriona Bass.


We met at the first NRN Meeting in January 2020. People wrote down their desires for nature recovery on blank sheets of paper around the hall: planting trees, making meadows, digging ponds, surveying birds, creating hedgehog highways….  Nicky wrote on her piece of paper ‘Connect to the Centre!’

She did! In fact, she connected instantly, so directly and deeply that her presence will still be felt when our long-lived great burnet, whose seeds she collected last summer along the river, are flowering in our new meadows 100 years from now.


Nicky-5023-Jenny_seed_harvestHarvesting wildflower seed with Jenny Chambers.
Photo Catriona Bass.


Nicky’s family has suggested that if you would like to do something in Nicky’s memory, and keep her ideals alive in the landscape, you could make a donation to the Nature Recovery Network of which she was such a guiding star.

The funds will be used for novel, Nicky-inspired projects. If you are able, please add a few words about what Nicky meant to you in the comment box.


Molly Chambers sowing seeds gathered by Nicky last summer.
Photo Catriona Bass.


We will also be keeping a permanent Nicky Chambers' Page on this NRN Website, so if you have a picture, or have written something about Nicky, or something else you would like to see on the Nicky page, please send it to

Nicky’s family is planning a Wake for Nicky in the next few weeks (date and venue tbc). We will also get together in April or May to sow the seeds that Nicky collected last year, to which everyone is welcome! 

- Catriona Bass


Nicky-9540_back_rubyPhoto Catriona Bass