Northumberland environmental campaigner, 75, dies

Howard Elcock
Howard Elcock

A leading Northumberland environmental campaigner has died suddenly at the age of 75 while on holiday in Greece.

Professor Howard Elcock, who was chairman of the Campaign to Protect Rural England in Northumberland, had been a tireless campaigner over many years, seeking to protect and preserve the green belt and green spaces in his adopted county.

Born in Shrewsbury, he studied at Oxford University before becoming a lecturer in politics at Hull University and then Newcastle Polytechnic, later Northumbria University, from 1981 to 1997.

Retiring as Professor (Emeritus) of Government, he was the author of several books and many academic papers. A further book is to be published posthumously.

It was in Hull, where he was a Labour county councillor for almost a decade, that he gained the considerable expertise in planning matters that was to be put at the disposal of Northumberland CPRE so effectively for many years.

He twice served as the regional chairman of CPRE North East region and was active nationally, as well as continually working in Northumberland – not only as chairman, but also in making site visits to look at planning applications, lodging objections where appropriate, submitting comments on local plans and working with the public who sought the organisation’s help and support.

Apart from his work on behalf of CPRE, he was a keen sailor and a member of Tynemouth Sailing Club where he had been Commodore and President. He sailed National 12s and had a yacht in Greece, where he died while on holiday with family and friends.

CPRE Northumberland colleague, Les Ashworth, said: “He was a kind and generous man with a drive to serve his community which he did in many different ways, and he will be remembered with great affection and respect.”