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Renton Righelato

A message from Fraser Cottington

Renton Righelato – The passing of a friend, co-trustee and overall champion of Berkshire nature conservation

The news of Renton’s passing is a shock to me, probably to most of us – when we learn of friends and loved ones faced with a battle with cancer, all we can do is be hopeful their battle is victorious. Cancer is cruel, some win, some go into remission, only to have it come back worse and take them away from us, it always feels sudden and without warning.

In our case we have lost so much, Renton’s ever present sense of humour, patient diligence, attention to detail and him being a warrior for conservation in Berkshire and his deep onboard knowledge of bird status and history. Yet this description still barely skims the surface.

Renton helped drive the formation of LWT from it’s FOLL status and we should take a moment to take stock of how rapidly the positive changes have happened, so much is owed to Renton, not least for more or less singularly writing and succeeding with the Network Rail/TOE electrification mitigation grant. Our biggest grant ever bringing us £44,000 to seed a huge new reed bed, large marshlands and defined East boundary fence, which has changed the course of how we view and enjoy Whinchat, Stonechat, Wheatear, Meadow Pipits and a lot more, plus tree management and chainsaw training for two people, means we will be reaping the benefits of this achievement for decades to come.

I believe we can all honour Renton by helping push forward with the new North spit hide, visit it often, stay that bit longer and know he is with us in spirit loving the downstream ripples his devoted life has created for the wildlife to thrive and for us to enjoy.


Renton’s funeral will be for family and close friends. A memorial occasion will be arranged for a later date when it is hoped that some members of the club will attend.