W D Campbell, Naturalist and Teacher

W D Campbell, Naturalist and Teacher

by Mary and Ken Jackson

W. D. (Bill) Campbell was known to thousands of Guardian readers for his Country Diary column, published every week from 1964 to 1994.

In Charlbury, where he was brought up on the Cornbury estate and lived for much of his life, he made his mark as a popular schoolteacher and naturalist with a gift for sharing his intimate knowledge of the history, language, flora and fauna of Wychwood Forest with children and adults alike.

Although his teaching career later took him to Shipton-under-Wychwood and Cholsey, on retirement in 1970 he returned to Charlbury where he lived until his death in 1994 (the photograph, left, shows him in his garden). He was granted a privileged access to the Cornbury estate and the forest which few others have enjoyed.

After his death, friends planted a copse in Mill Field (right) to commemorate him in perpetuity.

In this book, two of Bill's friends tell the story of his life and bring together an enchanting collection of his Country Diaries, poems, talks, stories and broadcasts. The foreword is by Jeannette Page, Bill's editor at the Guardian.

£12 pbk 172pp, illustrated  978-1-902279-01-5
The Wychwood Press

• In 1965, Campbell wrote a book entitled Birds of Town and Village, beautifully and elegantly illustrated by Basil Ede with 36 full page colour paintings specially commissioned for this book. This has been re-issued as a coffee table hardback at the bargain price of £7.99.