Obituary: Richard Hawkins, lawyer and author

Richard Hawkins, leading environmental lawyer, author and keen sportsman. Picture: Contributed
Richard Hawkins, leading environmental lawyer, author and keen sportsman. Picture: Contributed
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Born: 23 March, 1930, in Cambridge. Died: 10 July, 2014, in Kelso, aged 84.

It is with great sadness that we record the death in July of Richard Hawkins of Eden Hall, Kelso. Mr Hawkins was born in Cambridge, educated at Eton and read Law at New College Oxford.

He went through Pirbright Army Training College and Sandhurst and served in the Coldstream Guards in Malaya and Aden. After his call to the Bar he embarked on a career in industry as an in-house lawyer.

Many tributes have been paid that recognise his pioneering work over many years as one of the leading environmental lawyers closely involved in the reshaping of waste management in Britain.

He was extremely widely travelled with a well-stocked mind. In music his great passion were the operas of Wagner.

He also loved (and wrote) poetry, particularly Robert Browning, WB Yeats, and his favourite, TS Eliot, all of which he could recite at length.

Richard wrote eight books, including The Concise Lexicon of Environmental Terms; A New Jerusalem?’ and Why Conserve? The True Reason for Wildlife Conservation.

He enjoyed sport and was a formidable player and opponent when playing racquets, cricket and tennis, and was a member of the Lennel Tennis Club in Coldstream.

Mr Hawkins and his wife Lady Sylvia Loch, the well-known author and expert equestrian, lived in the Borders for the past 18 years. He always regarded himself first and foremost as an Englishman and is buried at Cornhill on Tweed in accordance with his wishes. However, he also took immense pride in being a Coldstreamer and in “coming home” to his Regiment.

Everyone who knew him will have very personal memories of this complex and multifaceted man. He was a very funny, immensely generous, with a great sense of humour, always kind and helpful, a lover of good food and wine and the company of his friends.

Mr Hawkins died at Kelso Hospital where he had been looked after both by his doctor, Sandy Morris, from Kelso Health Centre, and through several years of illness by many cherished local carers and nurses.

To Sylvia and Allegra we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences at his passing.

CONTRIBUTED