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Creator of Fullers Mill Garden, Bernard Tickner dies aged 93

Bernard Tickner MBE, whose home was at Fullers Mill, West Stow, died peacefully at Pinford End Nursing Home, Hawstead in Suffolk, this week. He was 93. Bernard leaves a legacy of achievements in both professional and private spheres which have enriched the lives of those in his local community and beyond.

In recognition of his services to wildlife conservation and horticulture, Bernard was awarded an MBE in 2017 by Her Majesty The Queen. He wrote about his varied life in a memoir, A Scratch in the Soil, published in June 2017, which covers his military service in East Africa, a distinguished career with Greene King as Head Brewer and creator of its award-winning draught Abbot Ale, a prominent role in the creation of Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Lackford Lakes Reserve with generous gifts of land, finance and advocacy and sixty years as a plantsman and maker of the garden at Fullers Mill.

Peter Newman, chief executive of Perennial, said: “Bernard was, to all those who knew him, a force to be reckoned with. His age was no barrier and he continued to play a full role in the development of his beloved garden at Fullers Mill and to make a valued contribution to Suffolk wildlife conservation until very recently. His contribution to the local brewing industry in Suffolk has seen long-standing economic growth and worldwide renown for Greene King and his place in the world of horticulture, through the creation of Fullers Mill Garden and his subsequent gifting of it to Perennial, shall be his legacy for many generations to come. I feel honoured to have known him and on behalf of all those at Perennial, I must thank him again for his generosity in bestowing his garden to our care and for his commitment to changing the lives of horticulturists for the better through his support of the only charity dedicated to their wellbeing.”

Jim Buttress VMH, Perennial Trustee and good friend of Bernard, said: “I had the honour and privilege of becoming Chair of the Fullers Mill Garden Committee in 2013. The Chief Executive of Perennial at the time, Richard Capewell, knew of my love of real ale and hoped Bernard and I would hit it off – we got on famously.

“Bernard was a gentleman through and through, it was so enjoyable to be in his company. He was very particular about his garden, which he had every right to be as it was his own. It gave Bernard tremendous pleasure that Perennial, a charity that looks after gardens and gardeners so well, were going to look after his.”

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